Ohio billionaire to launch $20 million submersible to Titanic site to prove industry is safe after OceanGate disaster

Real estate investor Larry Connor said, “I want to show people worldwide that while the ocean is extremely powerful, it can be wonderful and enjoyable."


An Ohio billionaire is intent on proving that the submersible industry is safe after the doomed implosion of the OceanGate submersible last year. Real estate investor Larry Connor, of Dayton, Ohio, has said that he wants to take a $20 million submersible to the Titanic site. “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 said.  

Connor has plans to take a vessel dubbed the Triton 4000/2 Abyssal Explorer down more than 12,400 feet to the shipwreck site, per the New York Post. The two-person sub was designed by Triton Submarines co-founder Patrick Lahey. Connor said that the vessel will be able to go on the voyage repeatedly. “Patrick has been thinking about and designing this for over a decade. But we didn’t have the materials and technology,” Connor remarked. “You couldn’t have built this sub five years ago.” 

The two want to bring more credibility to the industry after the disastrous OceanGate implosion on June 18, 2023. The incident killed all five people aboard the submersible. A few days after the incident, Connor told Lahey he would have to build a better submersible.  

“[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,’” Lahey commented about the call. Connor did not say when the voyage would take place. Lahey was one of those who called into question the safety standards on the ship and called the rush on the submersible business "quite predatory."  

Those who died in the OceanGate incident last year included explorer Hamish Harding, French Titanic researcher Paul-Henri Nargeolet, and Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood as well as his 19-year-old son. 

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