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28th May 2024

Billionaire plans to take sub to Titanic site to prove it’s safer after OceanGate disaster

Charlie Herbert

billionaire titanic

‘I want to show people worldwide that while the ocean is extremely powerful, it can be wonderful and enjoyable’

A billionaire in America is planning to take a submersible to the shipwreck of the Titanic to prove the industry is safer in the aftermath of the OceanGate disaster.

In June last year, five people were killed on board a deep-sea submersible after the vessel imploded during a dive to the wreck of the Titanic.

The sub, called Titan, was owned by OceanGate, and the company’s CEO, Stockton Rush, was one of those who died in the tragedy.

Communications were lost with the Titan one hour and 45 minutes after it set off, sparking a major search for the 21-foot-long vessel that had just 96-hours of emergency oxygen and limited rations on board.

Now, an Ohio billionaire has made it his mission to plunge almost 2.5 miles down to the Titanic wreck in an effort to prove that the industry is safer now.

Real estate investor Larry Connor said he and Triton Submarines co-founder Patrick Lahey will plunge more than 12,400 feet to the shipwreck site in a two-person submersible.

He told the Wall Street Journal: “I want to show people worldwide that while the ocean is extremely powerful, it can be wonderful and enjoyable and really kind of life-changing if you go about it the right way.

Connor has experience with deep-sea dives, having participated in a dive to the Mariana Trench back in 2021.

He said that Lahey had designed a $20m vessel called the Triton 4000/2 Abyssal Explorer. Connor claimed the vessel can carry out the trip down to the Titanic repeatedly, thanks to new materials and technology.

“Patrick has been thinking about and designing this for over a decade. But we didn’t have the materials and technology,” Connor said. “You couldn’t have built this sub five years ago.”

It was just days after the news that Titan had suffered a “catastrophic implosion” that Connor urged Lahey to build a better sub.

“[He said], you know, what we need to do is build a sub that can dive to [Titanic-level depths] repeatedly and safely and demonstrate to the world that you guys can do that, and that Titan was a contraption,’” Lahey told the Journal.

The billionaire has not yet confirmed when exactly the voyage will take place.

After the OceanGate disaster, it emerged that Stockton had been warned about the safety of the vessel, and that many had raised concerns about Titan beforehand.

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