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Billionaire Larry Connor visits Titanic in 2-person submarine

Billionaire Larry Connor visits Titanic in 2-person submarine
Published 2 months ago on May 29, 2024

Billionaire Larry Connor Plans Deep-Sea Dive to Titanic Wreck in Safer Submersible.

Billionaire Larry Connor Plans Deep-Sea Dive to Titanic Wreck in Safer Submersible

Ohio businessman aims to revive deep-sea tourism after deadly OceanGate implosion

In a daring move intended to restore confidence in deep-sea exploration, Ohio billionaire Larry Connor is planning a submersible dive to the wreck of the RMS Titanic. This expedition comes just over a year after the tragic implosion of the OceanGate Titan, a submersible that claimed the lives of five people during a similar dive.

Connor, a real estate investor, intends to make the journey alongside Patrick Lahey, co-founder of Triton Submarines, in their newly designed Triton 4000/2 Abyssal Explorer. This two-person submersible, valued at $20 million, is designed to withstand the immense pressure of the deep ocean, unlike the ill-fated OceanGate Titan.

A Mission to Restore Confidence

The OceanGate incident in June 2023 cast a dark shadow on the deep-sea tourism industry. The implosion, which occurred at a depth of over 12,400 feet (2.3 miles) during a descent to the Titanic, raised serious concerns about safety protocols and regulations within the field.

Connor acknowledges the risks involved but believes his expedition can demonstrate the viability of safe deep-sea travel. "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," he told the Wall Street Journal.

The Cutting-Edge Triton 4000/2 Abyssal Explorer

Lahey, the designer of the Triton 4000/2, emphasizes the advancements incorporated into the submersible. "We didn't have the materials and technology [for a safe deep-sea vessel] five years ago," he explains. The Triton 400噙2 is built with cutting-edge materials specifically designed to handle the immense pressure of the ocean depths.

Connor reportedly approached Lahey shortly after the OceanGate disaster, urging him to develop a safer submersible. Lahey, a vocal critic of OceanGate's safety practices, readily agreed.

Concerns Regarding OceanGate's Practices

Industry experts and whistleblowers had raised concerns about OceanGate's safety standards for years leading up to the 2023 tragedy. The Titan lacked certification from reputable safety organizations like the American Bureau of Shipping and Det Norske Veritas. Additionally, the waivers signed by passengers explicitly mentioned the vessel's experimental nature and the inherent risk of death.

Previous passengers on OceanGate expeditions also reported unsettling experiences. Some described equipment malfunctions, failed dives, and a general sense of unease throughout their trips.

The Doomed OceanGate Mission

The OceanGate Titan implosion occurred during an eight-day expedition priced at a staggering $250,000 per participant. The incident unfolded roughly an hour and 45 minutes into the descent towards the Titanic wreckage. This was intended to be OceanGate's third trip to the wreck, with the previous two marred by customer complaints about safety concerns and equipment malfunctions.

Looking Forward: A Socially Charged Expedition

Connor has yet to announce a specific date for his expedition, but the news has already sparked debate on social media. While some users express skepticism about the necessity of such a venture, others acknowledge the potential for the mission to revitalize deep-sea exploration with a focus on safety.

Connor's dive, if successful, could mark a turning point for the deep-sea tourism industry. By prioritizing safety and utilizing advanced technology, Connor and Lahey hope to demonstrate the feasibility of responsible deep-sea exploration while honoring the memory of those lost in the OceanGate tragedy.

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