James Cameron, the renowned film-maker responsible for Titanic, strongly criticizes the creators of the Titan sub for their reckless actions that endangered passengers during their deep-sea exploration.
Cameron, who also holds a position in a submersibles firm, reveals that concerns had been raised by industry professionals regarding the vessel operated by OceanGate, the tour operator.
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He expresses skepticism towards the construction of the 22ft sub, which featured a hull made of carbon fiber and titanium. The use of these materials raised fears of potential cracks and water ingress.
Having undertaken 30 dives to the Titanic wreckage himself and directed the 2003 documentary film Ghosts of the Abyss alongside the late actor Bill Paxton, Cameron’s extensive experience in deep-sea exploration gives weight to his criticism. He firmly states that it was only a matter of time before such a tragedy occurred.
During his visits to the shipwreck, Cameron opted for a ceramic sub due to its greater resistance to underwater pressure. Reflecting on the design of the Titan sub, he expresses his disdain, remarking that he considers it a terrible idea.
He admits that he should have spoken up against it, assuming that someone more knowledgeable would intervene.
Despite his reservations, Cameron acknowledges that several prominent figures in the deep-submergence engineering community had already written letters to OceanGate, cautioning against carrying passengers due to the experimental nature of their approach and the need for proper certification.
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A video from 2021 featuring Stockton Rush, the late chief of OceanGate, shows him proudly admitting to breaking rules in order to facilitate the trips, specifically mentioning the use of carbon fiber and titanium, which were generally discouraged.
During an appearance on US television, Cameron further emphasizes his concerns, highlighting the composite cylinder—the main hull in which passengers were enclosed—as the weakest link. His words underscore the serious implications of the choices made by the creators of the Titan sub and the potential consequences that unfortunately materialized.
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