James Cameron talks about the tragic journey on the submarine Titan.
The Academy Award winner and avid underwater adventurer told ABC News that after participating in more than 33 dives, he is familiar with the dangers of deep sea exploration.
“I am struck by the similarity of the Titanic disaster itself, in which the captain was repeatedly warned of ice ahead of his ship, yet went at full speed into an ice field on a moonless night. And a lot of people have died as a result, and for a very similar tragedy, where warnings have gone unheeded, that took place on the exact same site, with all the diving happening all over the world, I think it’s just amazing.” said Cameron. ‘It’s really quite surreal and obviously PH (Paul-Henry Nargeolet), the legendary French scuba diving pilot, is a friend of mine. It’s a very small community. I’ve known PH for 25 years because he died tragically. this way is almost impossible for me to process.
The submarine Titan was operated by OceanGate Expeditions. Five people, including Nargeloet, were aboard the ship that disappeared in the Atlantic Ocean on Sunday near the site of the sinking of the Titanic. OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush was piloting the submarine.
Debris from the submersible was found 1,600 feet off the bow of the Titanic, according to a press conference Thursday afternoon. The submersible is thought to have succumbed to a catastrophic implosion after being unable to withstand the pressure of the ocean at such depths.
“Well, I’ve been there many times. I know the starboard side very well,” Cameron said. “I actually calculated that I spent more time on the ship than the captain in the past. ocean, three times deeper than the Titanic. So I understand the engineering issues associated with building this type of vehicle and all the safety protocols you have to follow.”
“On behalf of the United States Coast Guard and the entire Unified Command, I extend my deepest condolences to the families,” Rear Admiral John Mauger said at a press conference (via The New York Times).
Watch Cameron’s full ABC News statement below.