Video: Recovering the Titan 12,500 feet underwater was dangerous, complex, emotional

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A billionaire from Ohio is planning to plunge to “Titanic-level depths” in a multi-million dollar submersible, nearly a year after a sub tragically imploded on its way to the ship’s wreckage.

According to reports, Larry Connor plans to take a $20 million deep-sea submersible to “Titanic-level depths” to prove the personal-sub industry is safe after the tragedy, which claimed five lives.

What happens when a submersible implodes?

“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,” Connor told The Wall Street Journal.

Connor plans to venture to the ocean depths with Triton Submarines co-founder Patrick Lahey. The duo will plunge into the ocean in a Triton 4000/2 Abyssal Explorer – a two-person submersible.

According to Triton Submarines’ website, the vessel is the “world’s deepest diving acrylic sub.” The “4000” in the name represents the number of meters it can dive. The Titanic sits at about 3,800 meters.

“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.”

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Connor is no stranger to unique explorations, having visited the Mariana Trench and the International Space Station.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Connor chose to go on this deep-sea exploration to prove the trek can be done without disaster, after the tragic OceanGate sub implosion, which killed OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman Dawood, Hamish Harding, and Paul-Henri Nargeolet last June.

Where is the Titanic wreck located? See maps of wreckage amid search for missing submersible

“He 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 said.

Connor did not say when the voyage would occur, according to the Enquirer.

The 21-foot Titan submersible vanished during an attempted exploration of the Titanic wreckage on June 18. After nearly five days of searching, the U.S. Coast Guard announced debris “consistent with a catastrophic implosion of the vessel” had been found on the ocean floor near the Titanic.

OceanGate’s Titan submersible had been taking tourists to see the Titanic’s decay since 2021. The cost for the expedition was about $250,000 per person.

Coast Guard officials said pieces of Titan were discovered by a remote-operated vehicle (ROV) over two miles deep on the sea floor. A debris field was also found about 1,600 feet from the Titanic’s bow.

While searching for the missing vessel, the Coast Guard said its ROV found “five major pieces of debris” that confirmed it was remains of the Titan.