James Cameron Says OceanGate Sub Rescue Was a Waste: ‘We All Knew They Were Dead’ | Video

“Everybody running around with their hair on fire, when we knew right where the sub was,” the “Avatar” filmmaker tells “60 Minutes Australia”

Filmmaker James Cameron slammed the multinational rescue effort that unfolded following a loss in communication with the doomed OceanGate submersible one year ago. “We all knew they were dead. We’d already hoisted a toast to our fallen comrades on [the] Monday night,” he explained in an interview with “60 Minutes Australia.”

The famously plainspoken Cameron also shared a note he made on hotel stationery when he learned of the sub’s implosion. The note reads, “9:25 confirmed implosion.”

“I literally wrote that on the pad the moment I heard from my naval source, a very reliable source, that they had heard an event and triangulated it to the site [of the sub],” Cameron said.

The five people onboard OceanGate’s submersible lost connection with their host ship a few hours into their descent to the wreckage of the Titanic on June 18, 2023. A sound of an implosion or explosion was detected around the same time by the U.S. Navy, but was determined to be “not definitive.”

What unfolded next was a multi-day, multinational rescue effort coordinated by the United States, Germany, Britain, France and Canada. Canadian Air Force sonar equipment detected sounds of banging on the ocean floor, which spurred public interest bordering on obsession until the 22nd, when all five passengers were confirmed dead.

“It just transformed into this crazy thing,” Cameron said. “Everybody running around with their hair on fire, when we knew right where the sub was. Nobody could admit that they didn’t have the means to go down and look. So they were running all over the surface and the entire world [was] waiting with bated breath.”

Last month, American billionaire Larry Connor announced he and deep-sea expert Patrick Leahy are planning to travel to the wreckage of the Titanic in their own submersible vehicle. The pair have not announced a timeline for their trip, but plan to use a Triton 4000/2 Abyssal Explorer.

The “4000” indicates the depth to which the submersible is certified to travel (the OceanGate submersible was only certified to travel to a depth of 1,300 meters). The Titanic sits at approximately 3,800 meters below sea level.

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