James Cameron Sees 'Astonishing Similarities' Between Titan Sub And Titanic Tragedies

“For us, it’s a very similar tragedy where warnings went unheeded," the director told ABC News.

Film director James Cameron sees some “astonishing similarities” between this week’s Titan submersible tragedy and the actual Titanic passenger ship disaster that happened 111 years ago.

The pilot and passengers of the five-person submersible that went missing on an excursion to view the Titanic wreckage on Sunday are now believed to be dead, according to the U.S. Coast Guard and the company that operated the vessel.

Cameron, who won an Oscar for directing “Titanic,” the 1997 blockbuster about the 1912 sea tragedy and has made 33 trips to the Titanic wreckage himself, didn’t seem surprised about the tragedy when he spoke to ABC News on Thursday.

In fact, he said, many people in the diving community didn’t think the five-person submersible used by OceanGate to go 12,500 feet below sea level should have been used.

“Many people in the community were very concerned about this sub,” Cameron told ABC News. “And 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.”

Joshua Gates, an explorer who hosts “Expedition: Unknown” on the Discovery Channel, told Sky News on Wednesday that he nixed a voyage because he “just couldn’t get comfortable” with its design.

“It is truly experimental in a very real sense of the word,” Gates said. “This is not like boarding a commercial flight on a new airplane. This is like being a test pilot on a plane that has never flown before.”

Although OceanGate has taken at least two dozen people down to see the Titanic and completed over 50 test dives, Boston.com notes the company has had to cancel many dives in the past, as well as entire missions.

HuffPost reached out to OceanGate on Thursday for a response to Cameron’s remarks, but the company said it would not be commenting beyond a statement it had issued expressing its condolences for the lives lost.

Cameron’s remarks are especially poignant considering one of the people on board was an old friend.

“Paul-Henri Nargeolet, the legendary French pilot, is a friend of mine,” Cameron said. “It’s a very small community; I’ve known him for 25 years. For him to have died tragically in this way is almost impossible to process.”

Cameron was struck by other details.

“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 said. “For us, it’s a 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 it’s just astonishing. It’s really quite surreal.”

You can see Cameron’s complete interview below.


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