Another billionaire planning 12,400ft dive to visit Titanic shipwreck 

By , K24 Digital
On Wed, 29 May, 2024 08:27 | 3 mins read
This undated photo provided by OceanGate Expeditions shows a submersible vessel named Titan was used to visit the wreckage site of the Titanic.
This undated photo provided by OceanGate Expeditions shows a submersible vessel named Titan was used to visit the wreckage site of the Titanic. PHOTO/AP

A billionaire real estate tycoon who gave his staff a $1.6 million bonus during the pandemic wants to visit the Titanic wreck in a submarine.

Larry Connor is not only undeterred by the OceanGate disaster last year but got on the phone with a rival firm days later asking it to build a better sub.

He plans to make the 12,500ft trip with Patrick Lahey, whose Triton Submarines already partnered with Connor on three dives into the Mariana Trench.

Connor is planning to be on the first sub to dive back into the Titanic wreckage since the Titan imploded last June.

Lahey said that after the implosion, Connor called him saying, '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 is set on taking a two-person submersible down to titanic wreck depths 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,' he told the Wall Street Journal.

Billionaire Larry Connor. PHOTO/MailOnline

He and Lahey have worked together previously diving to some of the ocean's deepest depths.

Triton clients have already made various dives this year, from exploring the Mariana Trench, the Great Barrier Reef, and the Arctic Ocean.

Despite OceanGate's catastrophic implosion last June, the pair aims to prove to the world that such an expedition can be carried out safely. 

Its operators insist their submersible is safer than Titan, which was criticized for having no official safety certification. 

They refused to share the per-person cost for a seat on their sub or tell DailyMail.com when they plan to plunge to the depths of the Atlantic to reach the Titanic wreck. 

Triton's subs have been used in the past for the 'world's deepest dive' to Australia's Great Barrier Reef in July 2023 with British biologist Sir David Attenborough. 

This year, Triton subs were used for expeditions to the Mariana Trench, the Great Barrier Reef, and the Arctic Ocean.

Connor, who has previously explored the Mariana Trench, the deepest oceanic trench on Earth, said they plan to undertake the journey in a two-person vessel called the Triton 4000/2 Abyssal Explorer.

The submarine is named '4000' for the depth in meters it can reach. It's unclear when the trip will take place or how much it will cost.

Lahey was among many industry figures who criticized OceanGate before and after the disaster, accusing it of questionable safety standards. 

After the implosion, he described Rush's recruitment tactics use to convincing people to get on board as 'quite predatory' and emphasized that certified submersibles are generally safe. 

Lahey emphasized that this tragedy wasn't reflecting of the industry as a whole.

'In that sense, OceanGate didn't make the industry look bad,' McCallum told the WSJ. 'It made us look good.' 

OceanGate's Titan submersible disappeared on June 18, 2023, after it plunged into the sea to explore the wreck of the Titanic - killing all five people on board, including the company's CEO, Stockton Rush. The cost of the expedition was $250,000. 

The company was slammed for flouting warnings of the risks and offering cut-price tickets to some of those on the trip. 

But despite the catastrophic implosion, rich thrill-seekers are still spending thousands on similar expeditions.  

Triton marketing director Sophie Bentham-Wood said influential individuals recognized how the tragic implosion could impact the investment in deep ocean research.

'Some have already approached us to discuss the build of deep-diving submersibles purely to counteract any negative impact those events could have had and maintain momentum in the ocean space,' she told Dailymail.com.

With respect to the lives lost last June, Bentham-Wood said the 'continued exploration of the deep ocean in manned submersibles is essential to understanding the ocean environment, which is a key component of our future on this planet.' 

Historically, submersibles have successfully dived deeper than the Titanic for decades. 

When the wreck of the Titanic was first first discovered in 1985, submersibles had already been diving to greater depths for several decades. 

The first to do so was the FNRS-3 bathyscaphe in 1954, setting a record by reaching 4,050 meters. In 1960, the Trieste descended 10,916 meters in the Mariana Trench. 

Since then, at least 16 submersibles have repeatedly taken people deeper than the Titanic over the past 69 years. 

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