Celebrities are expressing their feelings over the tragic outcome of the Titan submarine after debris was found in the North Atlantic Ocean on June 22, and the sub’s company, OceanGate, confirmed that all five passengers aboard were dead after the submersible imploded while on a dive to the wreck of the Titanic.
James Cameron, who directed the 1997 blockbuster Titanic and has made dives to the wreck in the past, compared the situation where OceanGate had been warned about the craft’s safety mechanisms yet kept making diving expeditions to the luxury liner’s wreckage to that of the Titanic’s sinking.
“I’m struck by the similarity of the Titanic disaster itself, where the captain was repeatedly warned about ice ahead of his ship and yet he steamed at full speed into an ice field on a moonless night. And many people died as a result,” the Oscar winner told ABC News.
“Many people in the [deep-submergence engineering] community were very concerned about this sub, and a number of you know of the top players in the community even wrote letters to the company, saying that what they were doing was too experimental to carry passengers and needed to be certified and so on,” James continued.
“And for a very similar tragedy, where warnings went unheeded to take place at the same exact site, with all the diving that’s going on all around the world. I think it’s just astonishing. It’s really quite surreal,” he added.
Some stars had been following the plight of the Titan submersible that went missing on June 18 while making a dive to the wreck of the Titanic 12,500 feet below the ocean’s surface. “This has kept me up the last few nights and made me sick,” Kaley Cuoco wrote in a recent Instagram Story while the search was still underway, adding, “Truly praying they can be saved! Can’t imagine what the passengers are going through.”
Five passengers were aboard the submersible: the CEO of OceanGate Stockton Rush; British businessman Hamish Harding; Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his teenage son, Suleman; and French oceanographer Paul-Henri Nargeolet.
OceanGate put out a statement that it was believed all five had perished, which read, “These men were true explorers who shared a distinct spirit of adventure, and a deep passion for exploring and protecting the world’s oceans. 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.”
A debris field had been found on the morning of June 22, and the Coast Guard said during a news conference later in the day that “the debris found is consistent with a catastrophic loss of the pressure chamber. Upon this determination, we immediately notified the families.”
Five major pieces of debris were found. Initially, the parts discovered included a nose cone outside the pressure hull and the front end bell of the pressure hole. The Coast Guard is continuing to map debris field.
When asked about body recovery, the Coast Guard spokesman said, “This is an incredibly unforgiving environment. The debris is consistent with a catastrophic implosion of the vessel.”
Scroll down to read celebrity reaction to the OceanGate submarine disaster.
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