Thursday, June 20, 2024

Triton Submarines co-founder builds $20M sub, will travel to Titanic site with Ohio billionaire after Titan tragedy

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An Ohio billionaire has decided to visit the Titanic site in a submersible months after the Titan submersible tragedy, to prove that the industry is safer now. Real estate investor Larry Connor, of Dayton, has said he is planning to travel over 12,400 feet to the wreckage in a submersible that carries two people, along with Triton Submarines co-founder Patrick Lahey.

Triton Submarines prez Patrick Lahey (L) and Ohio billionaire Larry Connor (R) to travel to Titanic site in $20M sub (Triton Submarines website, Larry Connor (LinkedIn)

“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 told the Wall Street Journal.

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Connor said the $20 million vessel can carry out the voyage repeatedly, and has been designed by Lahey and named the Triton 4000/2 Abyssal Explorer.

‘What we need to do is build a sub that can dive to [Titanic-level depths] repeatedly and safely’

“Patrick has been thinking about and designing this for over a decade. But we didn’t have the materials and technology,” Connor said. “You couldn’t have built this sub five years ago.”

The pair has decided to show the world that such voyages can take place without a disaster. The Titan submersible passengers died as a result of a “catastrophic implosion” on June 18. The five doomed passengers were OceanGate Expeditions CEO Stockton Rush, British billionaire Hamish Harding, French diver Paul-Henri Nargeolet, and Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his son, Suleman.

Connor said he called Lahey and asked him to build a new and better sub days after the tragedy. “[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 said.

Among various critics in the deep sea adventure industry who questioned OceanGate about its safety standards was Lahey. He called Rush’s approach “quite predatory.” As of now, it is unclear when Lahey and Connor’s voyage will take place.

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