James Cameron, a seasoned explorer and the renowned filmmaker behind the ‘Titanic’ movie, recently sat down for an exclusive interview with ABC News, expressing his deep concern regarding the loss of the Titan submarine. Cameron also drew interesting parallels between the two incidents of the RMS Titanic and the Titan submersible. In addition to this, he also gave an interview to the New York Times in which he heavily criticized the design of the sub and says he always had concerns about this vessel.
What are the similarities James Cameron pointed out between the RMS Titanic and the Titan sub?
An engineer with extensive experience in underwater exploration among other things, James Cameron pointed out many striking similarities between the sinking of the RMS Titanic and the loss of the Titan submersible. Although these events happened 111 years apart, both vessels were considered to be state-of-the-art at the time of their construction and both were operated by experienced crews. He also mentioned that both the Titanic and the Titan sub were experimental vessels that were not fully certified for their intended use. This lack of certification contributed to the tragedies of both vessels, as it meant that they were not properly equipped to deal with the hazards they encountered. Ultimately, both vessels were also victims of destruction, as their captains ignored warnings about the dangers of their respective voyages.
In the case of the Titanic, the captain ignored warnings about icebergs in the North Atlantic. This led to the ship striking an iceberg and sinking, with the loss of over 1,500 lives. Similarly, at the time of the Titan sub, the captain ignored warnings about the risks of diving in the vicinity of the Titanic wreckage. This led to the submersible suffering a hull breach and sinking, with the loss of all five crew members.
What were Cameron’s concerns about the Titan sub and its design?
James Cameron expressed many of his concerns about the safety of the Titan submarine, especially commenting on its hull made of carbon fiber, which is not a strong material for deep-sea submersibles. He also said that the submarine did not have a redundant hull, which means that if the main hull failed, there would be no backup. Additionally, Cameron said that the submarine’s sensor system was not adequate to detect hull problems. He mentions that he “knew submersible was destroyed” four days before the debris was found.
Cameron also brought up that many people in the deep-submergence engineering community had reservations about the submarine, and that some had even written letters to the company cautioning against its experimental nature. He believes that deep submergence diving has evolved into a mature art, and that there have been no fatalities in such dives since the early 1960s until the Titan imploded. Being the designer and builder of many submarines capable of reaching the deepest parts of the ocean, Cameron mentioned that he understood the engineering challenges involved in such vehicles and his insights into the design of Titan are being seen as very valuable. As a filmmaker and a prominent figure in the diving community as well, Cameron’s insights shed light on the importance of safety in such endeavors.