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French sub expert who died in Titan disaster is honoured by James Cameron for ‘inspiring explorers all over the world’
20 July 2023, 14:22
The French explorer and under sea expert who died in the ‘catastrophic implosion’ of the sub mission to the Titanic has been honoured by by deep sea divers and director James Cameron.
Paul-Henri Nargeolet, 77, died alongside OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, British billionaire Hamish Harding, Shahzada Dawood and his teenage son Suleman on the descent to the ship’s wreck.
PH Nargeolet’s life was honoured at an event live-streamed on Facebook. He was part of the first mission to the wreck of the Titanic more than three decades ago.
In a video tribute, he was said to have “inspired generations of ocean lovers, divers and explorers over the world.”
Around eighty per cent of items recovered from the wreck site by heritage company RMS Titanic Inc were found by Mr Nargeolet. RMS Titanic Inc owns the salvage rights for the shipwreck.
The company said on its website that Mr Nargeolet will be “always in our hearts and thoughts” and was “a true explorer of his time.”
“The compassion and support from those in the community is felt deeply by friends and family alike,” the firm added in a statement on Facebook.
Jessica Sanders, the company’s president, said at the event honouring his life: “PH was a giant of a man, and an inspiration in and of himself.”
James Cameron, who directed the blockbuster film Titanic, said he was “honoured to be considered as a peer” by Mr Nargeolet.
“He lived a large life, a life full of adventure,” he added. “It seemed there were so many dives, so many adventures ahead.”
He described him as a “legendary explorer.”
“PH dove the Titanic wreck for the first time in 1987. The work that he and his team had already done paved the way for my team.
“His example inspired me to be bold - he and his team had shown what was possible. We had so many stories to share.
“It was exhilarating for me to feel included by this legendary explorer.”
Malte Fiebing-Petersen, president of the German Titanic Society said: “A lot of the knowledge we have of the wreck site today is based on PH’s work.
“We mourn with his family and his friends. He dedicated his life to the most famous shipwreck in the world.