James Cameron accuses officials of dangling 'false hopes' for missing Titanic submarine
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Featured Image Credit: CNN/OceanGate/Becky Kagan Schott
Titanic director has aimed some criticism at the organisers of the search and rescue mission for the OceanGate Titan submersible that went missing in the Atlantic Ocean on Sunday.
The submersible lost contact with the surface an hour and a half into a dive down to the wreck site of the RMS Titanic.
Floating debris was found in the water that was confirmed to have come from the sub, suggesting a ‘catastrophic implosion’ that would have destroyed the vessel and resulted in the death of the five people on board.
Those passengers were OceanGate CEO and co-founder Stockton Rush, father and son Shahzada and Suleman Dawood, British billionaire Hamish Harding, and French dive expert Paul-Henri Nargeolet.
All are believed to have signed an extensive waiver before embarking on the dive, having paid a reported $250,000 for the eight-day excursion which included the Titanic wreck dive.
Speaking on CNN, Cameron – who has made numerous trips down to the Titanic during his career in deep-sea exploration – said that his thoughts were with the family after hope was ‘dangled’ before them.
In reality, he said, it might have been clear to others that the vessel had been destroyed in the extreme depth and pressure.
The director said: “I watched over the ensuing days, this whole - sort of- everyone running around with their hair on fire search.
“Knowing full well that it was futile.
“Hoping against hope that I was wrong, but knowing in my bones that I wasn’t.
“It certainly wasn’t a surprise today, and I just feel terrible for all the families that had to go through all these false hopes that kept getting dangled as it played out.”
The US Coast Guard announced that the debris was from the Titan yesterday evening, long after the reported emergency oxygen supplies on board would have run out.
The sub went missing on Sunday, meaning that the families faced a four-day wait to find out whether their loved ones were dead or alive.
In a statement just before the Coast Guard press conference, OceanGate said: "We now believe that our CEO Stockton Rush, Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman Dawood, Hamish Harding, and Paul-Henri Nargeolet, have sadly been lost.
“These men were true explorers who shared a distinct spirit of adventure, and a deep passion for exploring and protecting the world’s oceans."
The statement continued: “Our hearts are with these five souls and every member of their families during this tragic time."
“We grieve the loss of life and joy they brought to everyone they knew.
“This is an extremely sad time for our dedicated employees who are exhausted and grieving deeply over this loss.
“The entire OceanGate family is deeply grateful for the countless men and women from multiple organizations of the international community who expedited wide-ranging resources and have worked so very hard on this mission."