United States

Ohio Billionaire Larry Conor To Take $20M Triton Sub To Titanic Wreckage One Year After OceanGate Implosion Tragedy

Ohio billionaire Larry Connor plans to take a $20 million Triton submersible to explore the Titanic wreckage, a year after the fatal OceanGate sub implosion shook the world. With renewed confidence in certified submarines, Connor aims to showcase the safety and wonder of deep-sea exploration.

Youtube & OceanGate  Expeditions
Ohio Billionaire To Take Triton Sub To Titanic Site Photo: Youtube & OceanGate Expeditions

After OceanGate experienced a fatal sub implosion, a billionaire from Ohio, Larry Conor, intends to embark on a journey to explore the Titanic wreckage in a submersible.

Patrick Lahey, co-founder and CEO of Triton Submarines, a prominent manufacturer of personal submersibles, revealed to The Wall Street Journal that Larry Connor, a real estate investor from Ohio and one of his clients, reached out to him a few days after the tragic incident occurred. Connor requested the development of a submersible capable of reaching the Titanic.

“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,’ ” recalled Lahey.

Consequently, he developed a two-person craft named the Triton 4000/2 Abyssal Explorer, available on the company's website for $20 million, as reported by the WSJ. According to the website, the submersible is specifically engineered for multiple journeys into the deep ocean at depths reaching about 4,000 meters, surpassing the Titanic's depth of 3,800 meters.

Connor highlighted to the outlet that the vessel incorporates new "materials and technology" that were previously unavailable, stating, “Patrick has been thinking about and designing this for over a decade. But we didn’t have the materials and technology. You couldn’t have built this sub five years ago.”

The real estate investor, who expressed no fear of the deep ocean and has previously dived to the Mariana Trench, disclosed that he and Lahey intend to descend to the Titanic in the Triton 4000/2 Abyssal Explorer to demonstrate that it can be achieved "safely."

“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 conveyed to WSJ.

Despite Connor's eagerness to explore the ocean's depths following the fatal implosion of OceanGate's Titan sub in June 2023, Lahey admitted to the outlet that not everyone shares the same sentiment.

“This tragedy had a chilling effect on people’s interest in these vehicles,” he admitted. “It reignited old myths that only a crazy person would dive in one of these things.”

However, he also pointed out a significant disparity in quality between Titan's submarines and those of OceanGate. Titan's submarines are "classed" or certified as safe and compliant with regulations, whereas OceanGate utilized experimental designs and materials.

Ray Dalio, a billionaire financier who, alongside Hollywood director James Cameron, acquired a stake in Titan Submarines, informed WSJ that despite the OceanGate incident, he maintained confidence in submarines that adhere to regulations.

“In that situation they were experimental, they didn’t have certification, and they were not representative of what subs are,” Dalio stated. “Anyone who is knowledgeable would have no reservations.”

In case you are still wondering how deep is the Titanic? The Titanic rests approximately 12,500 feet beneath the ocean surface, equivalent to roughly 2.4 miles deep.