James Cameron, the Titanic director who has taken 33 dives down to the liner’s wreck, has called for increased regulation surrounding tourist vessels following the tragic fate of the Titan submersible.
“No fatalities, no incidents, no deaths, no implosions until today,” the filmmaker said at an event in Ottawa, Canada on Tuesday. “This is an extreme outlier of a data point that, in a sense, proves the rule. And the rule is we’ve been safe for half a century.”
And he added: “We have to be reminded of the possibility of human failure.”
Cameron told the event that the shocking loss of the Titan might force international agencies to craft regulations for passenger vessels.
He was speaking in front of the Deepsea Challenger, part of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society’s exhibit called “Pressure: James Cameron into the Abyss.”
The vessel was designed to reach the bottom of the ocean’s deepest point, known as the Challenger Deep. In 2012, Cameron led a successful mission in the vessel.
He compared his experience on Deepsea Challenger to the Titan submersible, saying OceanGate didn’t demonstrate the same level of “rigour and discipline” that is typically required for deep sea exploration.
Bloomberg reported that Cameron and an Australian team dedicated seven years to creating and testing the limits of the Deepsea Challenger.
“I was pretty concerned about implosion risk and other hazards over a seven-year period,” the filmmaker said. “We did test after test after test and scenario after scenario.
“We have over a half-century of a perfect safety record as the deep submergence community. Actual exploration. Actual research.”
Cameron’s mission, however, was also not certified. He told the New York Times last month that he “knowingly” did not seek safety certification, clarifying that his journey was for scientific purposes, unlike the Titan submersible. “I would never design a vehicle to take passengers and not have it certified,” he told the outlet.
Five people died aboard the Titan submersible last month when it imploded, and the company that launched the mission has since ceased operations.
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