James Cameron has commented on the tragedy surrounding the death of five people attempting a deep-sea exploration of the Titanic wreckage.
On Thursday of this week, it was confirmed that all five passengers of OceanGate's Titan submersible had died after an implosion on the craft.
Those on board were experienced diver Paul-Henri Nargeolet, businessman Shahzada Dawood, his son Suleman Dawood, billionaire Hamish Harding, and OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush.
After the crew went missing, reports emerged that the submersible was unfit for purpose, and Cameron agrees.
"People in the community were very concerned about this sub. A number of the top players in the deep submergence engineering community even wrote letters to the company, saying that what they were doing was too experimental to carry passengers and that it needed to be certified," he ABC News.
"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. For us, it's 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."
Cameron himself is an experienced deep-sea explorer as he started the activity in preparation for The Abyss and Titanic and kept it up as a hobby afterwards. He has been credited with improving technology for filming underwater and has even discovered new species of sea cucumber, squid worm and a giant single-celled amoeba.
Suleman Dawood did not want to make the trip
One of the passengers who passed away, Suleman Dawood, is a 19-year-old student who accompanied his dad on the trip as a Father's Day present.
According to his aunt, he had major reservations about going on the sub.
"Suleman had a sense that this was not okay and he was not very comfortable about doing it," Azmeh Dawood told NBC News.
"But it was a Father's Day thing. It was a bonding experience and he wanted the adventure of a lifetime just like his father did.
"His father wanted it and that was Sule all the way - he'd do anything for anyone."
Azmeh has lamented the fact that the other passengers went of their own accord, while Suleman just wanted to share an adventure with his father.
"They were there for their own reasons. Suleman was just there for Father's Day bonding experience," she continued.
"To be honest, as terrible as it sounds, at least knowing that they wouldn't have had time to know, they would have just been sat there enjoying themselves and then suddenly boom. It was over. To know that my Sule didn't feel a moment's pain."
Drama / Romance
1997 • 194 minutes