James Cameron slams OceanGate safety, regrets not speaking up more

James Cameron slams OceanGate

On Thursday, the United States Coast Guard said that all five occupants aboard the Titan submarine had perished due to a “catastrophic pressure implosion,” bringing a melancholy conclusion to a mystery that had captivated the entire globe for the last week.

On the other hand, not all specialists, including the film director and deep-sea explorer James Cameron, were taken aback by the news. The director of the movie Titanic is attacking the ship’s safety that was intended to investigate the remains of the Titanic in the North Atlantic, and he is associating the underlying cause of the tragedy with the infamous sinking of the ocean liner.

Throughout several television interviews, Cameron stated that he had known all week that the Titan had detonated the previous Sunday. (A senior Navy official confirmed to NPR that identical sounds were received by a piece of acoustic listening equipment on Sunday afternoon.)

During an interview with ABC News, Cameron indicated his conviction that the Titan’s hull began to shatter under strain. He also voiced his belief that the Titan’s internal sensors had alerted the passengers of the likelihood of this happening.

He claimed, “We understand from within the neighborhood that they had lost their ascent weights and that they were coming up, trying to manage an emergency.” This information was obtained from residents in the surrounding neighborhood.

The filmmaker of Titanic is no stranger to the world of deep-sea exploration. He calculated that he spent more time on the Titanic than the ship’s captain did a century ago. He has personally undertaken a staggering 33 dives to the shipwreck, which has given him access to the sunken vessel.

He submerged himself in the Mariana Trench, the deepest place on Earth and three times more profound than the Titanic wreck site, in a 24-foot cylindrical submersible he built over seven years in 2012.

In the same year, he gave an interview to NPR in which he remarked, “I think it’s the explorer’s job to go and be at the far end of human experience and then come back and tell that story.”

Cameron stated on Thursday that the safety of the vessel and OceanGate’s experimental method had been a subject of anxiety for a long time for him and many others in the deep submergence community. He lamented the company’s disrespect for the recommendations of specialists to go through a standard certification system.

Cameron remarked, “I’m struck by the similarity of the Titanic disaster itself, where the captain of the ship was warned multiple times about ice ahead of his ship, and yet, he steamed up full speed into an ice field on a moonless night, and as a result, many people died.” And with all of the diving going on worldwide, it’s absolutely astonishing and pretty bizarre that a similar tragedy, where warnings went unheeded, took place at the same site. It’s simply remarkable.

Cameron underlined that deep submergence diving is “a mature art,” having very few occurrences when it first started in the 1960s and an even better safety record now. This is mainly due to the certification standards that practically all such vehicles follow, but not this one. However, the record is much better now because of these certification processes.

OceanGate “shouldn’t have been doing what it was doing,” he told Reuters, adding that he had turned down CEO Stockton Rush’s invitation to go scuba diving with them this season. It is evident that OceanGate “shouldn’t have been doing what it was doing,” he said.

Cameron stated that he had previously cautioned another company not to follow the same design idea and called OceanGate’s use of a carbon-fiber hull “fundamentally flawed.” OceanGate’s use of a carbon-fiber hull was deemed “fundamentally flawed” by Cameron. He expressed his regret, saying he should have been more vocal during this instance.

He explained that, at this time, two wrecks were lying next to each other for the same terrible reason.

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