Billionaire Funds New Submersible to Dive to Titanic Depths

Nearly a year after the ill-fated Titan submersible imploded during a dive to the Titanic, an Ohio billionaire has partnered with Triton Submarines to build a commercial craft capable of diving to similar depths — safely.

a man stands with his arms crossed

Ohio billionaire Larry Connor. Photo: The Connor Group


According to the Wall Street Journal, real-estate magnate Larry Connor contacted Triton Submarines co-founder Patrick Lahey shortly after the 2023 OceanGate Titan disaster, in which five passengers, including OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, were killed. French diver Paul-Henri Nargeolet, Pakistani investor Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman, and British entrepreneur Hamish Harding were also aboard the Titan when it imploded.

a submersible

The Titan submersible imploded while diving to the Titanic in June 2023. Photo: OceanGate Expeditions


Titan was just ‘a contraption’

“[Larry Connor] 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,'” Lahey told the Wall Street Journal. He added that Connor dismissed the Titan as “a contraption.”

According to his company website, Connor has a long history of funding extreme adventures. He’s personally traveled to the International Space Station and the Mariana Trench and set a Guinness World Record for the highest HALO formation while skydiving.

“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,” the businessman said.

Connor, whose net worth is around $2 billion, will make the journey with Lahey in a vehicle dubbed the Triton 4000/2 Abyssal Explorer. The craft will reportedly be capable of safely diving to about 4,000m, 200m lower than where the Titanic currently rests. It’s unclear when the voyage will occur.

a submersible

The Triton 4000/2 Abyssal Explorer. Photo: The Connor Group


Both Lahey and Connor stress that their craft is classed by third parties in ways that the Titan wasn’t.

“[Lahey] 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.”

Andrew Marshall

Andrew Marshall is an award-winning painter, photographer, and freelance writer. Andrew’s essays, illustrations, photographs, and poems can be found scattered across the web and in a variety of extremely low-paying literary journals.
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