Human Interest

Ohio Billionaire To Dive $20M Sub To Titanic After Oceangate Tragedy

Less than a year after OceanGate’s fatal sub-implosion, an Ohio billionaire is planning to dive into the Titanic wreckage. PEOPLE reported that Patrick Lahey, the co-founder and CEO of Triton Submarines, one of the leading manufacturers of personal submersibles, told The Wall Street Journal that one of his clients, Ohio real-estate investor Larry Connor, called him a few days after the fatal incident happened and asked him to create a submersible that could reach the Titanic. As a result, he created a two-person vessel called the Triton 4000/2 Abyssal Explorer, which is listed on the company’s website for $20 million. According to the website, the submersible “is designed” for repeated trips to the deep ocean at a depth of about 4,000 meters, which is deeper than the Titanic's 3,800 depth.  Connor noted to the outlet that the vessel is made up of new “materials and technology” that had been previously unavailable, saying, “Patrick has been thinking about and designing this for over a decade. But we didn’t have the materials and technology. You couldn’t have built this sub five years ago.”  More on the Ohio billionaire planning to dive. According to Forbes, Connor has traveled to the “deepest point” on Earth and to the International Space Station. At age 74, he has a history of thrill-seeking and has undertaken a number of dangerous adventures, including skydiving out of a balloon at a record-breaking 38,139 feet, traveling 35,876 feet below sea level to the Mariana Trench and becoming one of the world's first private astronauts (he flew to the ISS on Axiom Mission 1 in 2022). “You’ve got to be willing to take a calculated risk, not stupid risk,” he told Forbes earlier this year. Business Insider reported that Lahey was one of the many industry figures who criticized OceanGate before and after the disaster, accusing it of “questionable safety standards.” After the implosion, he described Rush's approach to persuading people to get on board as "quite predatory,” the outlet mentioned. The waiver that Titan passengers were required to sign mentioned multiple ways that passengers could die and described the vessel as "experimental" three times. CBS News' David Pogue said his trip on the submersible was canceled after the Titan reached 37 feet because of an equipment malfunction, while one diver who made it to the wreckage said there were multiple aborted attempts, calling it a "suicide mission." Five people died in the June 2023 disaster. The news came after the U.S. Coast Guard announced that human remains were likely recovered from the wreckage. Debris from the vessel was taken ashore at a Canadian Coast Guard pier. People on board the submersible when it imploded included OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush; British billionaire explorer Hamish Harding; French maritime and Titanic expert Paul Henri-Nargeolet; and one of the richest men in Pakistan, Shahzada Dawood, and his son, Suleman Dawood.

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