Titanic director and deep-sea expert James Cameron has called for more control over the search in the wake of the Titanic disaster – which he called a ‘gut punch’.
Cameron, 68, spoke Wednesday at the new Royal Canadian Geographic Society in Ottawa, Canada, where officials hosted an exhibition of his own submersible, the Deepsea Challenger.
“The point of exploration is to always be aware that there are X factors that you can’t control,” Cameron said, “so you manage every possible risk through diligent engineering.”
He called the Titan tragedy, in which all five on board died in an apparent explosion while traveling to the Titanic wreckage site deep in the Atlantic Ocean, an ‘extreme outlier’ but added that the crew behind it did not take the necessary precautions. Preparing for their journey.
‘You don’t expect an implosion to happen because that’s what you spend all your time (doing) analysis and your computer simulations and everything else to prevent it, but they obviously didn’t. Unfortunately they didn’t approach it with the same rigor and discipline.’
Titanic director and deep-sea expert James Cameron said more control was needed in the search in the wake of the Titanic disaster, which he called a ‘gut punch’.
“It’s our responsibility as engineers to test, test, test,” he added. ‘Just don’t assume it’s going to work. The ocean is a very, very unforgiving environment.’
Cameron, who in 2012 became the first deep solo diver in the Mariana’s Trench at a depth of 11,00 km, called for regulations specifically for ships such as the passenger-carrying Titan.
‘It’s an emotional shock. It’s like a gut punch,’ he said. ‘You don’t expect it because you don’t expect an implosion to happen, because that’s what you spend all your time and all your finite-element analysis and your computer simulations and everything else to prevent.’
In addition to being an Academy Award-winning filmmaker for his box-office smash Titanic, Cameron is also a submarine enthusiast who has visited the site of the famous 1912 wreck 30 times.
It has been reported that a streaming network has approached the acclaimed filmmaker to tell the story of the tragedy that left five dead when the Titanic capsized while sailing to the wreck of the Titanic last month.
He categorically denied any rumors this past weekend.
‘I don’t usually respond to offensive rumors in the media, but I need to right now,’ Cameron, 68, wrote in a statement posted to her Instagram Stories on Saturday, July 15. ‘I’m not talking about an Oceangate. Film, I’ll never be.’
Cameron also paid tribute to Paul-Henri Nargiolet, 77, who died on June 18 when the Titan submersible descended into deep North Atlantic waters to search for the Titanic – something Nargiolet had done dozens of times before.
Investigators believe the submarine, owned by the private company Oceangate, exploded during landing, killing all on board.
Five people were on board when the ship exploded, including British billionaire adventurer Hamish Harding, billionaire Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleiman, who was just 19, Nargeloit and Oceangate CEO Stockton Rush.
The Titan sub lost contact with the surface within two hours of colliding with the wreckage. It launched an international search-and-rescue effort to save the crew. But it was later determined that the sub probably exploded, killing those on board immediately.
Investigators continue to comb through the case to determine exactly what went wrong.
Cameron, 68, spoke Wednesday at the new Royal Canadian Geographic Society in Ottawa, Canada, where officials put on display his own submersible, the Deepsea Challenger.
File photo Titan submersible, operated by the Oceangate Expedition to explore the wreck of the sunken SS Titanic
Cameron also paid tribute to Paul-Henri Nargiolet, 77, who died on June 18 when the Titan submersible descended into the deep waters of the North Atlantic to search for the Titanic – something Nargiolet had done dozens of times before.
Cameron’s event, which was streamed live on Facebook, began with a video montage of Nargiolet and his accomplishments that showed him embarking on the first archaeological mission to the site more than three decades ago.
The presentation included his work to recover ‘The Big Piece’, a 17-tonne piece of Titanic shell casing recovered in 1998.
According to the video, Nargiolette has ‘inspired generations of ocean lovers, divers and explorers of the world.’ It also shows Nergiolet manning watercraft over the years and ends with him looking out to sea from the beach.
Jessica Sanders, president of RMS Titanic Inc., then stepped to a podium decorated with Nargiolette’s photo and tearfully described her accomplishments, her legacy and her ‘devilish smile’.
Sanders, speaking in English and using a French interpreter, said Nargiolet recovered about 80% of the artifacts in the company’s collection.
‘PH was a giant of a man, and an inspiration in his own right,’ said Sanders. ‘He had to be in the story to hear it.’
Cameron previously pointed to the similarity of the Titanic, which sank in 1912, and its captain ‘was repeatedly warned of ice ahead of his ship, and yet he steamed full speed into an ice field on a moonless night, and many men perished. Results.’
The Avatar writer and director continued, ‘For us, it’s a very similar tragedy where precautions were neglected. Taking place on the same exact site with all the diving that’s going on around the world, I think it’s just amazing,’ he explained. ‘It’s really quite surreal.’
Cameron called the Titan tragedy, in which five people on board died, an ‘extreme outlier’ but added that the crew behind it had not made the necessary preparations for their journey.
Shahzada Dawood, 48, (right) one of Pakistan’s richest men, was among the five killed along with his teenage son Sulaiman Dawood, 19, (left).
Oceangate Expedition CEO Stockton Rush was killed in the disaster
Billionaire Hamish Harding, one of five people who died on board the Oceangate Titan
Oceangate Inc. is an American privately owned company based in Everett, Washington, that provides crewed submersibles for tourism, industry, research and exploration.
Earlier this month, OceanGate announced it was suspending all operations and future cruises following the disaster. Some trips cost upwards of $250,000.
‘Oceangate has suspended all exploration and commercial activities,’ the company’s official website said at the top.
The move came weeks after the disaster, with the company continuing to list future trips on its website even as rescue efforts were ongoing.
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