OceanGate co-founder hits back after James Cameron slammed officials over missing Titanic sub
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A co-founder of OceanGate has hit back at James Cameron after he called out officials for not saying the Titan sub rescue tragedy had imploded the day it went missing.
The Titan sub, which had been set to travel over 12,000 ft down to the wreckage of the Titanic, wentmissing shortly after it set off on Sunday (18 June), which prompted a huge search and rescue mission.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday (22 June), Rear Admiral John Mauger confirmed that the tail cone of the missing Titan submersible had been found close to the Titanic wreck.
He said: “In consultation with experts from within the unified command, the debris is consistent with the catastrophic loss of the pressure chamber.
"This is an incredibly unforgiving environment down there on the seafloor and the debris is consistent with a catastrophic implosion of the vessel."
Cameron commented on the sub's safety, saying that he felt the mission was too 'experimental to carry passengers and it needed to be certified'.
He said: "I think it was unconscionable that this group did not go through that rigorous process."
The Titanic director then drew a comparison between Titan's sub and the Titanic disaster, where 'warnings went unheeded'.
The director told CNN on Monday (19 June) that he knew the submersible and all aboard were already gone after he'd been told about a 'loud bang' occurring at the moment the surface lost contact with the submarine.
Cameron said the lack of announcing it 'prolonged nightmarish charade' and giving 'false hope' to the families of the deceased.
He said: "Then I watched over the ensuing days this everybody running round with their hair on fire search knowing full well that it was futile.
"Hoping against hope I was wrong but knowing in my bones that I wasn't.
"It certainly wasn't a surprise today, I just feel terrible for the families that had to go through all these false hopes that kept getting dangled as it payed out."
And co-founder of the tourist submersible, Guillermo Söhnlein, responded to Cameron’s comments on Times Radio on Friday (23 June).
He explained that within the diving field 'there are completely different opinions and views about how to do things, how to design submersibles, how to engineer them, build them, how to operate in the dives'.
Söhnlein continued: "But one thing that’s true of me and the other experts, is none of us were involved in the design, engineering, building, testing or even diving of the subs.
“So it’s impossible for anyone to really speculate from the outside.”
Söhnlein also mentioned Cameron in another chat with BBC Radio 4’s 'Today', saying that the Oscar-winning film director wasn’t there for the submersible’s construction and 'rigorous test program'.
“This was a 14-year technology-developed program, and it was very robust and certainly led to successful scientific expositions to the Titanic in the last few years," he argued.
When presenter, Martha Kearney, asked whether he thought more regulations were needed to prevent future tragedies, Söhnlein said: "It’s a matter of what happens when technology innovation outpaces regulations.
“And oftentimes the people developing the technology innovations are in a better position to understand the risks and figure out ways to best minimise them."