Billionaire's Plans for Submersible Journey to Titanic Roughly 1 Year After OceanGate Implosion Raises Eyebrows

OceanGate Titan submersible

Billionaire Larry Connor is setting out to prove to the world that he can reach the Titanic wreckage without a deadly disaster

Just a year after the OceanGate Titan submersible imploded on its way down to the wreck site in the Atlantic Ocean, Connor is planning his own submersible journey to the bottom of the ocean, something he believes can be done safely with the right technology.

Patrick Lahey, the co-founder and CEO of Triton Submarines, recalled getting a call from Connor just days after the OceanGate sub's catastrophic implosion, which killed all 5 souls on board.

"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 told the Wall Street Journal in an interview published over the weekend.

According to Lahey, he complied with Connor's idea, and created the Triton 4000/2 Abyssal Explorer, a two-person vessel listed on the company's website for $20 million. The sub is supposedly designed for repeated trips at a depth of about 4,000 meters, which is deeper than the Titanic's depth at 3,800 meters.

Connor said the vessel is made of new "materials and technology" that weren't previously available. "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."

"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," added Connor, who has already dived down to the Mariana Trench in the past.

He also claimed that last year's tragedy "reignited old myths that only a crazy person would dive in one of these things," which he doesn't believe is true unless the sub isn't certified as safe and up to code.

But those who followed along with the search for the missing Titan submersible last year may have different feelings about the safety of such adventures, even if Connor claims his vessel is better designed for the risky journey.

"HAVE WE LEARNED NOTHING??" one user on X (formerly Twitter) wanted to know, while someone else argued, "literally there's no reason to do this."

Another person criticized Connor's motive, writing, "Why are billionaires so fixated on a ship that sank ages ago?"

"This probably won’t end well, again," someone else feared.

Last year's tragedy ended up costing five people their lives, including British businessman Hamish Harding; British-Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son, Suleman; former French Navy diver Paul-Henry Nargeolet; and OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush.

Next: Nicki Minaj Fans Call Rapper 'Lethal' After New Lyric About OceanGate Tragedy