Academy Award winning director James Cameron, whose 1997 Oscar-winner Titanic chronicled the ill-fated ocean liner’s last hours, has weighed in on the eerie similarities between the Titanic and the Titan tourist sub, noting that both tragedies involved warnings that went “unheeded.”
After frantically searching for several days, the U.S. Coast Guard announced on Thursday that debris discovered near the Titanic wreckage belonged to the missing OceanGate Titan submersible, which was carrying five passengers on an expedition to view the sunken ocean liner.
“The debris field is consistent with a catastrophic implosion of the vessel,” Rear Admiral John Mauger of the U.S. Coast Guard said at a press conference Thursday. The Titan’s five passengers are now presumed dead.
As Breitbart News reported, red flags were raised about the Titan’s competency long before its ill-fated voyage to the bottom of the ocean mostly due to its unorthodox use of a carbon fiber hull.
David Lochridge, a former employee of OceanGate Expeditions, which operated the Titan, raised concerns about the submersible back in 2018, which resulted in his firing and an eventual lawsuit. CBS News reports:
In his complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, Lochridge alleged he had raised concerns about the safety of the Titan with OceanGate and advised the company to conduct more testing of the vessel’s hull. Lochridge said he had disagreed with his employer about the best way to test the safety of the sub and that he objected to OceanGate’s decision to perform dives without “non-destructive testing to prove its integrity.”
James Cameron, who himself has made over 33 dives to the Titanic and who helped to create the Deepsea Challenger submersible that famously dove to the bottom of the Mariana Trench in 2012, told ABC News that members of the deep submergence engineering community were “very concerned” about the OceanGate Titan’s competency to dive to such incredible depths.
“Many people in the community were very concerned about this sub,” Cameron said. “A number of the top players in the deep submergence engineering community even wrote letters to the company, saying that what they were doing was too experimental to carry passengers and that it needed to be certified and so on.”
“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 on a moonless night and many people died as a result,” Cameron noted.
“And for this very similar tragedy, where warnings went unheeded, to take place at the same exact site, with all the diving that’s going on all around the world, I think is just astonishing. It’s really quite surreal,” he concluded.
‘Titanic’ director James Cameron on the ‘catastrophic implosion’ of Titan submersible: “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.” pic.twitter.com/vO8JkCXS5f
— ABC News (@ABC) June 22, 2023
In a 2019 blog titled “Why Isn’t Titan Classified?,” OceanGate argued that the submersible had innovative features outside of current class rating standards.
“By definition, innovation is outside of an already accepted system,” the blog said. “However, this does not mean that OceanGate does meet standards where they apply, but it does mean that innovation often falls outside of the existing industry paradigm.”
“While classing agencies are willing to pursue the certification of new and innovative designs and ideas, they often have a multi-year approval cycle due to a lack of pre-existing standards, especially, for example, in the case of many of OceanGate’s innovations, such as carbon fiber pressure vessels and a real-time (RTM) hull health monitoring system,” it continued. “Bringing an outside entity up to speed on every innovation before it is put into real-world testing is anathema to rapid innovation.”
Paul Roland Bois joined Breitbart News in 2021. He also directed the award-winning feature film, EXEMPLUM, which can be viewed on Tubi, Google Play, YouTube Movies, or Vimeo on Demand. Follow him on Twitter @prolandfilms or Instagram @prolandfilms.
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