Billionaire shares plans to dive down to the Titanic a year after OceanGate tragedy

Billionaire shares plans to dive down to the Titanic a year after OceanGate tragedy
Co-founder of OceanGate says regulations around Titanic wreck dives are 'sparse'
Times Radio

A US billionaire has revealed his plans to take a submersible back down to the Titanic, a year on from the OceanGate tragedy.

Tech and real estate entrepreneur Larry Connor admitted that he’d begun plotting his dive just days after the disaster, which left five people dead.

On 18 June 2023, the 6.7-metre-long Titan vessel lost contact with its mothership less than two hours into its descent to the depths of the North Atlantic Ocean.

The subsequent search-and-rescue mission gripped the world but four days later, on 22 June, the US Coast Guard confirmed that the sub had been destroyed in a “catastrophic implosion,” killing everyone on board.

Yet, rather than quell his thirst for exploration, the news prompted Connor to contact Patrick Lahey, the co-founder of submersible company Triton Submarines, and urge him to build a better sub.

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal(WSJ), Lahey recalled their conversation, explaining: “[Connor 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.”

Connor (left) and Lahey (right) have successfully completed a number of deep-sea dives together(Triton Submarines)

Now, he and his colleagues claim to have done just that: designing a $20 million (around £15.7 million) vessel which they have christened the Triton 4000/2 Abyssal Explorer.

“Patrick has been thinking about and designing this for over a decade. But we didn’t have the materials and technology,” Connor also told the WSJ.

“You couldn’t have built this sub five years ago.”

The Ohio-based real estate mogul will take the plunge of more than 12,400 feet (3,780 metres) down to the iconic shipwreck alongside Lahey in the two-man vessel, although they haven’t yet confirmed a date for their tip.

Setting out his motivation for the dive, Connor said: “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.”

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