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Inside billionaire’s Triton 4000 submarine that will dive to Titanic wreck one year after fatal OceanGate disaster

Inside billionaire’s Triton 4000 submarine that will dive to Titanic wreck one year after fatal OceanGate disaster

This submarine aims to change perceptions about deep-sea exploration.

After watching the OceanGate submarine disaster unfold last year, lots of people probably wouldn't be rushing to get into a small private submersible any time soon.

But not Larry Connor, though. He's a billionaire who has reportedly poured some $20 million (£15.7 million) into his company Triton Submarines with the aim of producing a submersible that can take him down to view the wreck of the Titanic safely.

You'll probably remember that this was exactly the goal of the OceanGate sub, too, so it underlines just how alluring the prospect of being able to see the Titanic with your own eyes is to some.

Max Dannenbaum / Getty
Max Dannenbaum / Getty

Conor 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."

That's a nice positive spin, but it doesn't negate the fact that this is a risky journey, and one that ended in tragedy very recently.

Still, Triton's sub is rated for the depths that it's aiming to descend down to - the submersible is called the Triton 4000/2 Abyssal Explorer, and that '4000' part refers to the depth in meters that it can get to.

Given that the Titanic's wreckage sits at 3,800 meters deep, this should mean it's fine to make the dive safely.

By contrast, the OceanGate submarine that we now know imploded under huge pressure was only rated for a depth of 1,300 meters, a much shallower range.

Stephen Frink / Getty
Stephen Frink / Getty

Despite this project hitting the news in a big way in the past week, though, it's not actually a massively imminent trip.

Rather, Triton is planning for a dive sometime in 2026 based on its current timelines, with delays very much a possibility given that they haven't yet finished testing the submersible.

Another key difference to OceanGate is that Triton apparently doesn't aim to become a commercial operation offering dives to paying passengers - it'll stick to observation.

In the aftermath of the OceanGate incident, one person who was contacted a lot and gave a fairly withering assessment of the sub in question was Titanic director and deep-sea expert James Cameron.

He made it clear that he felt terrible for those who lost their lives in the accident, but also that the submarine in question might not have been up to the standards he would have imposed.

Featured Image Credit: Triton Submarines / Instagram @oceangate