Last week, luxury real estate tycoon and adventurer Larry Connor revealed plans to dive into the Titanic wreck. For this mission, Patrick Lahey, co-founder of Triton Submersible, will join him. They will aim to reach over 12,400 feet in the North Atlantic Ocean. 

However, Last year, a submersible named Titan visited to see the Titanic wreck with five people on board. Sadly, they all died, and the submersible was found 1,600 feet from the Titanic’s bow.

Larry Connor

Billionaire Larry Connor

At 74, Connor is no stranger to high-risk adventures. He has skydived from 38,139 feet, explored the Mariana Trench, and was one of the first private astronauts to fly to the ISS in 2022.

Connor started a real estate firm in Dayton, Ohio, in 1991 and now invests in luxury apartments through the Connor Group, which boasts a 30.4% annual return. Since 1996, the Connor Group has sold over $6 billion in properties, making Connor the 1,691st richest person in the world. Also, he has a net worth of $2 billion as of 2024.

Patrick Lahey

President of Triton Submarines Patrick Lahey

Born in Ottawa, Canada, Patrick started diving in 1975 and became a professional diver in 1982. He has almost 40 years of commercial diving experience from various global projects. He has been involved in designing, engineering, manufacturing, and testing many underwater vehicles and diving systems, including over 60 manned submersibles. Patrick is a certified air, mixed-gas, and bell-saturation diver with a background in electronics and instrumentation.

He also recently became the second Canadian to reach the bottom of the Mariana Trench and the first person to dive the Challenger Deep twice with another explorer. During one of these dives, he completed the deepest salvage operation at 10,927 meters.

He is also co-founder and President of Triton Submarines in Sebastian, Florida. At Triton Submarines, Patrick has led the development of all their submersibles, including the Triton 36,000/2, also known as the ‘Limiting Factor.’ This submersible was the first manned craft used for the Five Deeps Expedition

The Planned Expedition

Lahey and Connor will dive in a Triton 4000/2 Abyssal Explorer, a $20 million submersible made in Sebastian for this mission. It can dive to 13,123 feet. However, diving into the Titanic is dangerous because it is about 13,000 feet underwater. The water pressure is hundreds of times higher at that depth than at the surface.

These can be dangerous conditions,” Connor said. “We are going to go through multiple steps, multiple certifications, to ensure that this vessel and, specifically, the hull is safe and sound.”

The OceanGate Tragedy

The OceanGate Titan submersible.
The OceanGate Titan submersible

The Titan sub from OceanGate went missing for over four days before parts of it were discovered 1,600 feet away from the Titanic’s bow on June 22, 2023. Unfortunately, when it was found, all five passengers on board had died. It was there OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, British Billionaire Hamish Harding, French diver Paul-Henry Nargeolet, British-based Pakistani tycoon Shahzada Dawood, and his son Suleman Dawood. 

Lahey discussed the Titan disaster with CBC-Radio Canada. He mentioned meeting the OceanGate team while vacationing in the Bahamas, and there, he emphasized that they should pay more attention to their work. Despite pointing out flaws in the Titan, he didn’t believe the company would successfully conduct a deep-sea dive. However, later, his assumptions were proven right.

Since 2021, OceanGate has offered Titanic tours, charging up to $250,000 per person for a firsthand look at the “unsinkable ship.” OceanGate promoted its Titan vessel as the future of deep-sea exploration, designed with help from NASA engineers at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama

Although it was developed with input from NASA engineers, it faced safety concerns dating back to 2018.  Also, It has only been certified to dive to 4250 feet, much shallower than the Titanic’s resting place. The company faced intense criticism for not conducting sufficient testing and using experimental materials, such as its carbon fibre composite hull, including resisting third-party certification. However, a month later, OceanGate halted its operations, and Investigations are ongoing regarding the tragic accident. 

Safety Measures and Innovations

Triton Submarines is highly respected in the industry. They have even reached the Mariana Trench, the deepest point on Earth. It is over 10,900 meters below sea level, while the Titanic sits at 3,800 meters

Bart Kemper, a mechanical engineer concerned about Triton, says he trusts Triton Submarines. When asked if he would join the mission, he replied, “Oh yeah, in a heartbeat. Sign me up.”

The big difference here is that we’re using proven technology that’s still innovative, but has been done the right way,” he explained.

Also, Connor emphasized that safety is the top priority for the new submersible. He also stated that the project will not be rushed and will receive certification from DNV, a leading certification body in Norway.

The Future of Deep-Sea Exploration

The Titan disaster hurt the private submersible industry. Therefore, they said, this dive aims to demonstrate the safety of ocean exploration a year after the OceanGate Titan submersible disaster. 

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.” Mr. Connor told the Wall Street Journal.

So, we hope Connor and Lahey’s successful voyage can be reached soon. However, the vehicle is expected to cost tens of millions and it will not be ready until at least the summer of 2026.


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