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Friday, July 19, 2024

Billionaire building $30 million submersible to travel to Titanic wreck site

Nearly one year on from the Titan submersible catastrophe, an American billionaire has unveiled a new $30m submarine project to show the Titanic wreck site can be explored safely.

Ohio real estate mogul Larry Connor is aiming to travel 3800 metres to the bottom of the North Atlantic in a two-person submersible, reports the Wall Street Journal.

On June 18 last year the Titan submersible operated by the US exploration company OceanGate, imploded during an expedition to view the Titanic wreck, killing five people.

American real estate mogul Larry Connor. (Linkedin/Larry Connor) (Supplied)

OceanGate suspended all its operations, and an investigation in the tragedy is continuing.

The new submersible will be built by Triton Submarines and designed by the company’s co-founder Patrick Lahey.

He and Connor will travel in the craft – known as the Triton 4000/2 Abyssal Explorer – to the wreck site of the famous liner.

Connor says he wants to “prove the journey can be made safely”.

“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.

The submersible has been designed with new technology that has only become available over recent years, Connor said.

The wreckage of the Titanic has been at the bottom of the North Atlantic since 1912. (CNN)

“Patrick has been thinking about and designing this for over a decade. But we didn’t have the materials and technology,” Connor said. “You couldn’t have built this sub five years ago.”

No date has been announced for when Connor and Lahey plan to make the voyage to the Titanic wreck site.

Those killed in last year’s disaster at the Titanic wreck site were Stockton Rush, the submersible pilot and chief executive officer of OceanGate; two members of a prominent Pakistani family, Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman Dawood; British adventurer Hamish Harding; and Titanic expert Paul-Henri Nargeolet.

The company charged passengers $US250,000 ($377,000) each to participate in the voyage.

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