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Another billionaire has his sights set on Titanic wreck, despite OceanGate tragedy

Larry Connor and Patrick Lahey are planing on visiting the Titanic wreck.

Larry Connor and Patrick Lahey are planing on visiting the Titanic wreck. Photo: Triton Submarines

Just shy of a year after the OceanGate submersible implosion, another billionaire says he wants to make the trip down to the wreckage of the Titanic, all to prove such vessels are safe.

Triton Submarines co-founder Patrick Lahey said billionaire real estate investor Larry Connor had proposed a radical idea.

He called me up and 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 Wall Street Journal.

In the same interview, Connor said he wanted to show the world that while the ocean is “extremely powerful”, it can be “wonderful and enjoyable and really kind of life-changing”.

The pair plan to travel to the depths of the Atlantic Ocean, to visit the Titanic wreckage, in a Triton 4000/2 Abyssal Explorer, a two-person submersible.

Pictured is the Titanic wreck in the Atlantic Ocean

The duo will attempt to do what the OceanGate submersible didn’t and visit the Titanic wreck.

According to Triton Submarines, the Triton 4000/2 Abyssal Explorer can reach a depth of 4000 metres – about the depth of the wreckage of the Titanic.

Connor said Lahey had been thinking about the submersible’s design for more than 10 years, but didn’t have the materials or technology.

But this won’t be the pair’s first ocean mission together. In 2021, they went to the Mariana Trench’s Challenger Deep and Sirena Deep in a submersible.

According to the BBC, a spokesperson for Connor’s company, the Connor Group, said the trip to the Titanic wouldn’t happen until the Triton 4000/2 Abyssal Explorer had been certified by a marine organisation.

OceanGate submersible tragedy had ‘chilling effect’

Of course, the news of the mission to the Titanic is overshadowed by last year’s “catastrophic implosion” of the OceanGate submersible, which Lahey said had affected people’s interest on the underwater vessels.

“This tragedy had a chilling effect on people’s interest in these vehicles,” he told the Wall Street Journal.

“It reignited old myths that only a crazy person would dive in one of these things.”

The OceanGate submersible imploded while venturing to the wreck of the Titanic in June last year.

The tragedy killed OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush and passengers British billionaire Hamish Harding, Titanic expert Paul-Henri Nargeolet, Pakistani-British businessman Shahzada Dawood and his son, Suleman.

Each passenger paid $367,000 to go on the voyage.

Fears for those on the tourist submersible were raised when the vehicle lost contact. A multiday search effort ensued, with several countries joining in hopes of locating the vessel before oxygen ran out.

Following the implosion, OceanGate suspended all exploration and commercial operations.

Topics: Titanic
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