The tragic incident of OceanGate’s submersible Titan that sank to the Titanic wreckage last year was devastating for the whole world. Five people died in the accident, including OceanGate founder and CEO Stockton Rush, creating doubts about the future of deep-sea tourism and their safety.

OceanGate Cyclops 1 submersible on display
Cyclops 1 submersible on display | Credits: Wikimedia Commons/Isabeljohnson25

After almost a year, a new expedition to the Titanic wreckage is already in the works. This mission has been undertaken by Ohio billionaire Larry Connor, who is known for his adventurous nature, and his partner Patrick Lahey, who is the co-founder of Triton Submarines.

Larry Connor Wants to Prove Deep Ocean Exploration Industry Is Still Safe

MIR submersible observing Titanic wreckage
MIR submersible observing Titanic wreckage | Credits: Walt Disney Co. / via Everett Collection

Although the idea of the expedition is still concerning to many, Larry Connor and Patrick Lahey are determined. Connor, a real estate and tech billionaire whose hobby is extreme adventures, has decided to visit the wreck of the Titanic next.

Lahey’s firm Triton Submarines has been involved in manufacturing advanced submersibles and has committed to creating a custom-built vessel for this mission. According to Wall Street Journal, The Triton 4000/2 Abyssal Explorer costs $20 million and is expected to use new technologies and equipment to make the journey to the deep ocean much safer.

The disaster of OceanGate is still a recent incident and the idea of another submersible expedition to the bottom of the Titanic has raised concern among netizens and professionals.

However, while talking with Wall Street Journal, Connor said that he wants to show an example that deep-sea expeditions are still safe. He said,

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.

It is not the first time that Connor has gone on such adventurous expeditions. The billionaire has traveled to the deepest known point on the earth’s surface, the Mariana Trench, which is about seven miles deep. He has also skydived from an astonishing height of 35,000 feet in order to honor vets. Besides this, he was also one of the first to visit the space station on a private mission in 2022.

New Submersible Designed for Larry Connor’s Expedition to Titanic Wreckage

TRITON 4000/2 Abyssal Explorer
TRITON 4000/2 Abyssal Explorer | Credits: Triton Submarines

Connor and Lahey are dedicated and passionate about their draft in order to change the perception of doubters that deep-sea tourism is safe and viable. According to The New York Times, the submersible they will be using is planned to be called The Explorer – Return to the Titanic. However, it is still in the design phase and is yet to go into production. It is mentioned on the Triton website as Abyssal Explorer.

According to Triton Submarines, the submersible 4000/2 Abyssal Explorer can dive up to 4000 meters, which is 200 meters more than the depth of the Titanic’s wreckage, within two hours. It has a wide view of 320 degrees. The new technology allows it to descend smoothly without causing much disturbance to marine life. This will help to capture marine life in a much more cinematic way.

With its six-meter wing span, there is an inbuilt lighting rig consisting of powerful LEDs that help in increased wide view and visibility in the deep ocean darkness. Moreover, the submersible allows 500 kg of extra weight to be carried along with it.

In an interview with The New York Times, Connor said,

Ours is just not a trip to the Titanic. It’s a research mission. The other purpose is to demonstrate to people around the globe that you can build a revolutionary, first-of-its-kind sub and dive it safely and successfully to great depths…

..If we can’t do it, what we call ‘s and s’ — safely and successfully — we’re just not going to do it,” Mr. Connor said. “We’re not thrill-seekers. We’re not big risk-takers.

However, the Titan disaster cannot be ignored and doubts arise as to whether technological advancement could really reduce the dangers that come with reaching such great depths. Despite this, Connor and Lahey stay committed to going through all the certification procedures required before the trip.

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