Wealthy Individual to Explore Titanic Wreck in State-of-the-Art Submarine

Larry Connor, a real estate investor and amateur adventurer from Ohio, is planning an underwater voyage to the site of the Titanic shipwreck, located off the coast of Newfoundland, 12,500 feet under the sea. Following a tragic incident involving the implosion of a submersible during a previous expedition to the area, Mr. Connor contacted Patrick Lahey, the co-founder of Triton Submarines, to design a new submersible capable of safely reaching the depths of the Titanic for exploration and scientific research. The custom sub, named “The Explorer — Return to the Titanic,” is still in the design phase and will be based on an existing Triton design known as the Abyssal Explorer, capable of reaching depths of 13,000 feet.

Mr. Connor’s interest in exploring the ocean and advancing ocean exploration through innovative technologies led him to pursue this mission. He believes that the best way to explore the ocean is in a submersible, and he sees the development of a safe and reliable submersible as crucial to expanding our understanding of the deep ocean. The cost of the submersible is estimated to be in the millions, and Mr. Connor is keen on ensuring that the safety and success of the mission take priority. He aims to counter the negative perceptions stemming from a previous submersible incident that resulted in the loss of all passengers on board.

The Titan disaster in June 2023, which claimed the lives of all five passengers on board a submersible, prompted criticism of cost-saving design choices and raised concerns about the safety of submersibles used for deep-sea exploration. The incident marked the first time in nearly a century that anyone had died while piloting or riding a submersible. Mr. Connor hopes to address these concerns by emphasizing the importance of building well-made and certified submersibles that prioritize safety in every aspect of their design and operation.

In contrast to the uncertified experimental design of the submersible involved in the Titan disaster, Mr. Connor’s approach focuses on ensuring the certification and rigorous testing of the submersible before undertaking the mission to the Titanic. He believes that certifications by respected organizations, known as classification, are crucial for guaranteeing the safety and success of deep-sea dives. By reiterating his commitment to safety and caution when embarking on such exploratory missions, Mr. Connor aims to restore trust in the submersible industry and demonstrate the potential for innovation in ocean exploration.

Mr. Connor’s background as a record-setting skydiver, astronaut, and deep-sea explorer highlights his experience in pushing the boundaries of human exploration. His previous expeditions to the Mariana Trench and the International Space Station demonstrate his interest in pushing the limits of what is possible in terms of human exploration and scientific research. By combining his passion for exploration with a focus on safety and innovation, Mr. Connor hopes to inspire others to embrace the challenges and opportunities presented by deep-sea exploration and advance our understanding of the world beneath the ocean’s surface.