Billionaire Set to Take Submersible to Titanic to Prove It’s Safe

Titanic shipwreck lying silently on the ocean floor. The image showcases the immense scale of the shipwreck, with its fragmented structure extending across the seabed.

An Ohio real estate mogul is planning to take a submersible to the site of the Titanic wreckage less than a year after the Titan catastrophe that killed all five passengers.

Larry Connor, the founder of the Dayton-area real estate company The Connor Group, plans to prove that the personal submarine industry is safe despite the tragic implosion of OceanGate’s Titan submersible in June 2023 that killed CEO Stockton Rush and his four passengers.

Connor told the Wall Street Journal that he planned to take a deep-sea submersible to “Titanic-level depths” to show the world that the ocean could be a “wonderful,” “enjoyable,” and “life-changing” experience if it was done the “right way.”

An avid adventurer, Connor has also traveled to the International Space Station and explored some of the deepest parts of the ocean, including the Mariana Trench.

Connor plans to make the deep-sea submersible journey with Patrick Lahey, the co-founder of the Seattle-based Triton Submarines.

The two men will explore the ocean depths in the company’s Triton 4000/2 Abyssal Explorer, Triton’s $20 million two-man vessel.

The Triton 4000/2 is designed to dive up to 4,000 meters beneath the surface, more than enough to reach the Titanic, which rests at 3,800 meters.

Connor told the Journal that Lahey has been designing the submersible for more than a decade but the materials and technology to build it weren’t available until recently.

In a May 31 interview on NBC’s “Today” show, Connor described the OceanGate implosion as a “terrible disaster,” but argued that it was entirely avoidable. He said if his voyage with Lahey is “done correctly,” they would be able to show the world that deep-sea exploration in a submersible is “safe.”

Bart Kemper, a mechanical engineer who voiced concern over the OceanGate Titan’s design before the deadly implosion, told NBC that he trusted Triton Submarines. He explained that Lahey’s company uses “proven technology” that is “still innovative.”

When asked if he would take the voyage in Triton’s 2-man submersible, Kemper said, “in a heartbeat.”