• Friday, June 21, 2024

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US billionaire plans Titanic return in new submersible

Larry Connor and Patrick Lahey, co-founder of Triton Submarines, said they want to take a sub to a depth of around 3,800m

FILE PHOTO: Art school students give final touches to a painting depicting five people aboard a submersible named Titan in Mumbai on June 22, 2023. (Photo by INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Pramod Thomas

US billionaire Larry Connor is moving ahead with his ambitious plan to venture back to the wreck of the Titanic, despite the tragic incident involving the Titan submersible last year, reported the BBC.

Connor, known for his substantial fortune in real estate, is collaborating with Patrick Lahey, the co-founder and CEO of Triton Submarines, to design and build a new submersible aimed at deep-sea exploration. This mission is set to take place in the summer of 2026.

Connor, whose net worth is estimated at $2 billion, wasted no time after the OceanGate disaster to express his determination to revisit the Titanic.

Following the catastrophic implosion of the Titan submersible, which resulted in the death of all five passengers, Connor reached out to Lahey to propose the creation of a more robust submersible.

He stressed the importance of demonstrating the capabilities of Triton Submarines and the potential for safe deep-sea exploration.

In June 2023, the Titan submersible imploded during an expedition to the Titanic wreck. OceanGate’s CEO Stockton Rush, 61, perished along with four other passengers: British-Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood, 48, his 19-year-old son Suleman, British businessman Hamish Harding, 58, and former French navy diver Paul-Henry Nargeolet, 77.

Despite this, Connor remains undeterred. He believes that with the right approach, the ocean can be a source of wonder and transformative experiences.

“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,” he was quoted as saying.

The new submersible, the Triton 4000/2 Abyssal Explorer, is a state-of-the-art vessel designed for professional deep-sea applications, he claims.This two-person submersible is capable of diving up to 4,000 meters, making it well-suited for the depths required to reach the Titanic.

Triton Submarines describes the Abyssal Explorer as a high-performance platform, engineered to ensure the protection of delicate marine environments during exploration. The design includes features such as Gull Wings, which elevate the vehicle’s propulsion system to avoid disturbing the seabed and its inhabitants.

Connor’s spokesman said the mission’s goal to prove the feasibility of constructing and operating a unique submarine for deep-sea exploration. This initiative aims to inspire confidence in the potential for safe and enjoyable underwater adventures, even in the face of past tragedies.

Lahey, who will join Connor on this daring journey, brings extensive experience and expertise in submarine technology.

In 2021, the pair embarked on a submersible journey to the Challenger Deep and the Sirena Deep in the Mariana Trench, which, at nearly 36,000 feet, is the deepest point on Earth’s ocean floor.

According to reports, the mission aims to honour the legacy of those lost in the Titan tragedy by pushing forward with new advancements in submersible technology.

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