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billionaire taking submersible to Titanic

The world’s deepest diving acrylic sub will likely head to the wreck of the Titanic soon. Image: Triton Submarines

The Inertia

Remember when those people tried to explore the wreck of the Titanic in a tiny little tube with video game controllers to steer, only to have it implode on them? It was less than a year ago that OceanGate’s Titan sub disaster happened, but if humans have proven one thing, it’s that we have short memories. Another billionaire has just announced that he, along with a deep-sea explorer, are giving it another go.

Larry Connor, a 74-year-old billionaire who made a pile of money in the real estate industry, decided that the doomed OceanGate expedition needed to be retried with the right equipment. He called up Patrick Lahey, who is the co-founder of Triton Submarines, and asked him to build a submarine that was actually capable of getting down to the world’s most famous shipwreck. The Titanic sits in around 13,000 feet of water about 350 miles from the coast of Nova Scotia in the North Atlantic.

While the OceanGate submersible was built for tourism purposes, the Triton Submarines’ vessel will be used for research purposes. Also, according to IFL Science, Connor and Lahey would like to dispense with some of the negative press that surrounded the Titan’s demise.

“He [Connor] called me up and 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 told the Wall Street Journal.

For Connor, he would also like to show people that, even though the sea can be dangerous, it has a lot to offer us.

“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 said.

Before the Titan submersible imploded, killing all five onboard, it wasn’t the subject of any glowing reviews. Many in the industry raised alarms about its construction. James Cameron, who made the hit film Titanic and has visited the wreckage over 30 times, weighed in with his thoughts last year.

“[Oceangate] didn’t get certified because they knew they wouldn’t pass,” Cameron told BBC News. “I was very suspect of the technology that they were using. I wouldn’t have gotten in that sub.”

The Triton Submarines submersible is very different than OceanGate’s Titan. Called Triton 4000/2 Abyssal Explorer, which is only slightly foreboding, and it is described as “the world’s deepest diving acrylic sub.” If all goes to plan, it should be capable of safely diving to depths of a little more than 13,000 feet.

It’s already proven itself over a variety of deep sea dives, some of which were used to film segments of Blue Planet II.


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