James Cameron explains his theories behind OceanGate submersible disaster

Titanic expert and director James Cameron says the owners of the doomed submersible OceanGate “broke all the rules”, resulting in the deaths of five on board trying to find the world’s most famous shipwreck.

The submarine Titan disappeared after a two-hour journey en route to the wreck of the Titanic on June 18 in the North Atlantic Ocean. Despite several investigations, the families still do not know how the tragedy occurred.

Cameron, who directed the 1997 hit film Titanic, said the entire OceanGate mission should never have happened.

“These guys broke the rules,” Cameron told 60 Minutes on Sunday.

“It’s as simple as that. They shouldn’t have been legally allowed to carry passengers.”

Her disappearance sparked a massive, multi-day search effort by the U.S. Coast Guard with assistance from Canadian authorities.

All five on board – OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, French explorer Paul-Henri Nargeolet as guide and three paying passengers: billionaire explorer Hamish Harding, Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his teenage son Suleman – they were killed instantly in the suspected implosion.

The remains of the submarine, including the tail cone, were found approximately 490 meters from the Titanic’s hull on June 22, with the presumed human remains recovered days later.

But as the one-year anniversary approached, Cameron said there was still a lot of mystery surrounding the investigation into what happened that fateful day.

Mr Cameron, who has visited the Titanic wreck site 33 times and designed and piloted a submarine to the deepest point on Earth, said that despite offering his expertise to the investigation, he remains out of the loop.

“I volunteered for the Coast Guard investigative committee,” he said.

“I think they want to do things their way and frankly I think they have egg on their faces and don’t want outside opinions.

“This is just my interpretation.”

Cameron said the “media circus” in the days of searching for the five men was fueled by the unwarranted hope that they were searching for survivors.

“I mean, every day my jaw was literally dropping wider and wider, so much so that they never warned everyone,” he said.

“Everyone was running around with their hair on fire when we knew exactly where the submarine was.

“But no one could admit that they didn’t have the means to go and see.

“Then they ran all over the surface and the whole world waited with bated breath talking about 96 hours of oxygen.

“We all knew they were dead.

“We had already toasted our fallen comrades on Monday evening.”

Cameron said he doesn’t believe the Coast Guard was dishonest about its search efforts but “unnecessarily” withheld information from the families involved.

“I don’t think they lied,” he said.

“I think they went through a tortuous process for the family.

“They just didn’t disclose it. They were informed by naval intelligence that an implosion event had been traced to the coordinates of the Titanic wreck site.

Cameron said he believes charges should be laid, but thinks the person primarily responsible died in the submarine disaster.

“I think there should be some changes,” he said.

“They had no classification. In theory, they should not have been legally allowed to carry passengers.

“Yes, I think the tragedy is that (Mr. Rush) brought others with him.

“HWe should have listened to the warnings.”

Mr Cameron said he plans to honor his late friend, Mr Nargeolet, by returning to the Titanic once again.

“We plan to build a submarine that can go to 4,000 meters, and we will, and I might even go back to the Titanic with that submarine, just to show that if done right, it can be done safely,” he said.

A coveted seat on the Titanic’s tragic voyage cost passengers $250,000 each.

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