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A year after Titan sub implosion, an Ohio billionaire says he wants to make his own voyage to Titanic wreckage

New digital scans of the Titanic
New Titanic scans give insight into iconic shipwreck's sinking 00:45

Five people boarded OceanGate's Titan submersible last summer to dive down to see the wreckage of the Titanic, but less than two hours later, the vessel imploded, killing all on board. Now, a billionaire from Ohio wants to make his own attempt – an idea he had just days after the Titan met its fatal end.

Patrick Lahey, co-founder and president of Tritan Submarines, is no stranger to deep-dive expeditions. He was the second Canadian to visit the bottom of the Mariana Trench nearly 36,000 feet under the ocean's surface. He told the Wall Street Journal that he'd spent years working to make submersibles safe for deep dives, making sure his company's vessels were certifiably safe. Then when last year's implosion happened – killing the vessel's overseer and captain – there were concerns that nobody would trust such expeditions again. 

But a few days after the incident, Lahey told The Wall Street Journal that he got a call from a client who seemed determined to build a safe, reliable 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," he said, "and that Titan was a contraption." 

Thus, the relationship between Lahey and Ohio real estate mogul Larry Connor was born. 

Connor, based in Dayton and leader of luxury apartment building investor the Connor Group, is worth about $2 billion, according to Forbes. Like Lahey, Connor also has an interest in the unknown. According to Forbes, he ventured to the Marian Trench in 2021 and also went to the International Space Station in 2022. 

He told The Journal that he's hoping to show people 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." 

"Patrick has been thinking about and designing this for over a decade. But we didn't have the materials and technology," he told the outlet, saying that he and Lahey plan to take a sub down to the Titanic wreckage in a two-person submersible known as the Triton 4000/2 Abyssal Explorer

According to the Triton website, the vessel is a "high-performance, flexible platform designed specifically for professional applications." The company says it can dive to 4,000 meters below the sea and that "the world's deepest diving acrylic sub" is commercially certified for dives over 13,000 feet. 

The remains of the Titanic are about 12,500 feet underwater, giving the sub just enough certified range to reach it. The imploded Titan sub was not made of acrylic, and only had a certified range of up to 1,300 meters, according to CBS News partner BBC.  

The pair has not yet said when their voyage will occur. 

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