James Cameron Could Have Told You Not to Get In That Titanic Sub


BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 15: James Cameron attends the 21st Annual VES Awards at The Beverly Hilton on February 15, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)

It‘s possible none of us would have become so obsessed with the missing Titanic sub if it weren’t for James Cameron, the director who opened what became the biggest movie of all time with a submarine dive to the Titanic wreck. So if you‘ve spent days of cable news coverage wondering what Cameron would say about the now-presumed lost sub, wonder no longer: he has spoken out.

Speaking to ABC News, Cameron—who notes that he’s spent more time on the Titanic via submarine dives than the actual captain of the Titanic did— calls deep submergence diving a “mature art,” the implication being that this Titan submersible was not quite mature enough for the job. “I designed a sub to go to the deepest place in the ocean — three times deeper than the Titanic,” Cameron reminded viewers at home. (He really did!) “I understand the engineering problems with building this type of vehicle.”

As others have done, Cameron notes that there were plenty of warning signs a $250,000 ride on this machine was a bad idea. Care to draw a parallel to the crew of the Titanic, who were convinced their ship was unsinkable, even by icebergs? Cameron welcomes it. “I’m struck by the similarity of the Titanic disaster itself,“ he told ABC News. “The captain was repeatedly warned about ice ahead of his ship, and yet he steamed full speed ahead into an ice field on a moonless night. Warnings went unheeded. For this to take place at the same exact site, it’s quite astonishing.”

There’s actually some debate about how much the Titanic’s Captain Smith ignored ice warnings, and in Titanic itself the captain is presented much more as a hero than, say, the dastardly Bruce Ismay.  Perhaps Cameron is trying to steer us away from the absolutely exhausting door debate—and toward a new piece of Titanic trivia we can fight about. 

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