‘Titanic’ Director James Cameron Breaks Silence On ‘Catastrophic Implosion’ Of Titan Submersible

OceanGate confirmed on June 22 that the five submersible passengers died during their dive down to the Titanic, as debris was found from the sub's hull.

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Titanic director James Cameron is speaking out on the tragic deaths of five passengers who were killed during the “catastrophic implosion” of OceanGate’s Titan sub, which tried going down to the ship earlier this week. Speaking to ABC News, the filmmaker said, “I’m struck by the similarity of the Titanic disaster itself, where the captain was repeatedly warned about ice ahead of his ship and yet he steamed at full speed into an ice field.”

In his interview, which can be viewed below, James also discussed the concerns voiced by experts about the safety of the 21-foot Titan. “As a submersible designer myself, I designed and built us up to go to the deepest place in the ocean three times deeper than Titanic. So I understand the engineering problems associated with with building this type of type of vehicle and all the safety protocols that you have to go through. And I think [it] is absolutely critical for people to to really get the take home message from this from from our effort here is deep submergence diving is a mature art from the early ’60s, where there were a few accidents. [But] nobody was killed in the deep submergence until now. [That’s] more time than between Kitty Hawk and the end of the flight of the first 747,” he said.

James also told ABC News that he “actually calculated that I spent more time on the [Titanic] than the captain did back in the day.” This is the first time the director and “submersible enthusiast” has spoken about the tragedy publicly.

Before James spoke out, it was revealed that the tourist submersible vessel, which vanished while on its way to see the Titanic’s wreckage in the North Atlantic Ocean, was declared lost. OceanGate released a statement saying they believe the vessel was lost and the five crew members who were on board are dead, according to CNN“We now believe that our CEO Stockton Rush, Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman Dawood, Hamish Harding, and Paul-Henri Nargeolet have sadly been lost,” the statement said. “This is an extremely sad time for our dedicated employees who are exhausted and grieving deeply over this loss. We appreciate their commitment to finding these five explorers, and their days and nights of tireless work in support of our crew and their families.”

OceanGate concluded their statement by offering condolences to the families of those who died. “This is a very sad time for the entire explorer community, and for each of the family members of those lost at sea. We respectfully ask that the privacy of these families be respected during this most painful time.”

James Cameron (Shutterstock)

Following the statement from OceanGate, the Coast Guard held a press conference and said they found debris from the vessel off the bow of the Titanic, leading to the conclusion that the five passengers on board were dead. A spokesperson said the crew members were victims of a “catastrophic implosion”.

News of the “implosion” comes just four days after a search for the 22-foot vessel began. The vessel first lost contact with those above sea level on Sunday, June 19.

About 1,500 passengers and crew died in April 1912, when the Titanic sank on its maiden voyage after hitting an iceberg. The wreckage was later found in 1985, and inspired James to make Titanic, a film that went on to win 11 Oscars and gross more than $2.26 billion worldwide.