Could This Ohio Billionaire’s Mission To The Titanic Change Everything?

By Jennifer Wentworth | Wednesday, 29 May 2024 01:50 PM
Views 2.1K
Image Credit : New York Post

Ohio-based billionaire Larry Connor is on a mission to restore faith in the submersible industry following the catastrophic failure of the OceanGate submersible last year.

The real estate mogul from Dayton, Ohio, has expressed his intention to embark on a $20 million submersible expedition to the site of the Titanic. "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 stated.

Connor's ambitious plan involves piloting a vessel named the Triton 4000/2 Abyssal Explorer, which is designed to descend over 12,400 feet to the site of the infamous shipwreck, according to the New York Post. The submersible, designed to accommodate two passengers, is the brainchild of Triton Submarines co-founder Patrick Lahey. Connor is confident that the vessel is equipped to undertake the voyage multiple times. "Patrick has been thinking about and designing this for over a decade. But we didn’t have the materials and technology,” Connor explained. “You couldn’t have built this sub five years ago.”

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The duo is determined to restore credibility to the submersible industry, which was severely tarnished by the tragic OceanGate implosion on June 18, 2023. The incident resulted in the loss of all five individuals aboard the submersible. In the aftermath of the disaster, Connor challenged Lahey to construct a superior submersible. Recalling their conversation, Lahey said, “[He 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.’” However, Connor has not yet disclosed when the proposed voyage will occur.

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Lahey, who had previously questioned the safety standards of the industry, described the rush on the submersible business as "quite predatory." The victims of last year's OceanGate incident included explorer Hamish Harding, French Titanic researcher Paul-Henri Nargeolet, and Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood, along with his 19-year-old son.

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