The Titanic filmmaker criticized tourism company OceanGate after its submersible imploded, killing five people onboard

Director James Cameron appeared on ABC News after officials announced the missing Titan submersible imploded underwater, killing the four passengers and a pilot onboard, just 200 meters off the bow of the Titanic wreckage.

On Thursday, the Oscar-winning Titanic filmmaker told the outlet during an on-air interview that “many people in the community were very concerned about this sub” and that “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.”

Cameron also said that he was “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 died as a result.” He added, “For us, 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.”


The director, who said he has made 33 dives to the wreck and has spent more time on the Titanic than the ship’s actual captain did, expressed that he understood the engineering challenges behind building a submersible.

“It’s absolutely critical for people to get the take-home message that deep submersible diving is a mature art,” said Cameron. “The safety record is the gold standard, absolutely, not only fatalities but no accidents… Of course [what happened to the Titan is] the nightmare that we’ve all lived with, we’ve lived with it in the back of our minds.”