Inside the new $20m submersible heading for the Titanic wreck - one year after Oceangate disaster

5 June 2024, 15:49 | Updated: 5 June 2024, 16:20

An illustration depicting Tsub that explorers plan to use
An illustration showing the sub which explorers plan to use. Picture: Triton

By Flaminia Luck

The design for a new $20 million submersible commissioned by real estate tycoon Larry Connor to visit the wreckage of the Titanic has been revealed.

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Connor announced his plans to dive down to the shipwreck located about 370 nautical miles off the coast of Newfoundland almost a year on from the OceanGate disaster which left five people dead.

The property mogul said he contacted Patrick Lahey, the co-founder of specialist company Triton Submarines, shortly after the tragedy.

The custom vessel is set to be christened “The Explorer — Return to the Titanic".

The design for the TRITON 4000/2 Abyssal Explorer has been revealed
The design for the TRITON 4000/2 Abyssal Explorer has been revealed. Picture: TRITON

Connor said he urged Lahey to build a new submarine that could reach the depths of the sunked passenger liner.

The destroyed OceanGate submmersible was only certified for 1,300 metres.

According to the Triton website, the sub's 4,000 meter depth-rating makes it the "perfect submersible for repeated trips to the deep ocean".

It added the explorer’s capabilities are "simply unmatched".

The two-person vessel is still in the design phase, and is currently estimated to cost a staggering around £15.6m.

Lahey has been working on the design for the acrylic-hulled sub for “over a decade”, according to Connor who spoke to the Wall Street Journal.

Wreckage is unloaded from the ship Horizon Arctic at the Canadian Coast Guard pier in St. John's, Newfoundland
Wreckage is unloaded from the ship Horizon Arctic at the Canadian Coast Guard pier in St. John's, Newfoundland. Picture: Alamy

Mr Connor is head of The Connor Group, a real estate investment firm based near Dayton, Ohio. Mr Lahey co-founded Triton Submarines in 2008.

In 2021, the duo ventured together in a submersible to the Challenger Deep and the Sirena Deep in the Mariana Trench, the deepest point on the Earth’s seabed.

The billionaire told the Wall Street Journal: "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 also paid to fly to the International Space Station in 2022.

Read more: Two sadistic women who filmed as they tortured and murdered vulnerable man in his home jailed for life

The submersible went missing more than 600 kilometers off the coast of Newfoundland in eastern Canada
The submersible went missing more than 600 kilometers off the coast of Newfoundland in eastern Canada. Picture: Alamy

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