**Film Director James Cameron Calls for Regulations for Ocean Exploration Vessels**
Film director and deep-sea explorer James Cameron is advocating for regulations to be implemented for vessels that carry passengers to the ocean’s depths. He draws a parallel to the Titanic disaster, which resulted in the establishment of maritime-safety rules a century ago. Cameron believes that these regulations should be targeted towards tourist craft rather than scientific or solo missions. He emphasizes that the deep-ocean exploration community has maintained a perfect safety record for the past 50 years, with no fatalities or incidents until the recent implosion of the Titan submersible.
**Cameron Stresses the Need for Safety Precautions**
Speaking in Ottawa, Cameron points out that the implosion of the Titan submersible is an extreme outlier and should not overshadow the deep-ocean exploration community’s overall safety record. Highlighting the importance of safety precautions, he explains that his comments are not meant to deter exploration but rather to ensure the well-being of passengers venturing into the depths of the ocean.
**Challenges in Implementing Regulations**
Cameron acknowledges the challenges in establishing regulations for ocean exploration vessels. The international waters where many submersible voyages take place have no single government or authority governing them. Therefore, it would require collaboration among the governments of all the countries where submersibles operate to pass their own rules. Determining the entity responsible for leading these regulations poses a significant challenge.
**Cameron’s Criticism of OceanGate and Its CEO**
Previously, Cameron had criticized OceanGate and its CEO, Stockton Rush, for disregarding calls from experts to have a third-party maritime safety organization certify the Titan submersible. Rush had dismissed the certification process as hindering innovation. It is worth noting that Cameron’s own Deepsea Challenger was also not certified, but he was the sole occupant. Cameron also expressed his disapproval of OceanGate’s decision to use a carbon-fiber hull, stating that pressure hulls should be made of materials like steel, titanium, ceramic, or acrylic.
**Cameron’s Commitment to Safety during Design Process**
During the design process of his own submersible, Cameron took extensive measures to prioritize safety. Along with an Australian team, he spent seven years designing a specialized 26,000-pound cylindrical submersible made of syntactic foam, capable of withstanding intense underwater pressure. The team conducted numerous tests and simulations, subjecting Cameron to various failure scenarios, including mock fires and battery disasters. After rigorous testing, Cameron entered the vessel with immense confidence.
**James Cameron’s Deep-Sea Exploration Roots**
James Cameron’s dedication to deep-sea exploration is underscored by his lifelong friendship with Canadian ocean explorer and physician Joe MacInnis. Their connection dates back to 1968 when a 14-year-old Cameron wrote to MacInnis about submersibles. The loss of legendary submersible pilot Paul-Henri Nargeolet in the recent Titan implosion deeply saddened Cameron. Nargeolet and Cameron had a friendly competition to see who had completed the most dives. Cameron expresses his shock and disbelief over the unexpected implosion, as extensive analysis and computer simulations are conducted to prevent such incidents.
In summary, James Cameron’s call for regulations for ocean exploration vessels is driven by his concern for the safety of passengers and the need to ensure the well-being of those venturing into the depths of the ocean. He highlights the need for targeted regulations that focus on tourist craft while acknowledging the challenges in implementing them due to the lack of a single governing body in international waters. Cameron’s commitment to safety is evident in his own submersible’s design process, where extensive testing and simulations were carried out. Furthermore, his longstanding roots in the deep-sea exploration community, as well as his personal connections with fellow explorers, emphasize his deep emotional investment in the field.