“If done correctly, we can demonstrate worldwide that this type of exploration in submersible is safe,” billionaire Larry Connor said.

Ohio billionaire Larry Connor plans to launch a voyage to the Titanic wreckage, less than a year after the Titan submersible imploded, killing five passengers. Connor, a real estate and tech entrepreneur, aims to renew confidence in deep-sea exploration.

Connor collaborates with Triton Submarines to build a new submersible for the Titanic expedition. “This was a terrible disaster but in our opinion an avoidable one,” Connor told NBC’s “TODAY” Show. “If done correctly, we can demonstrate worldwide that this type of exploration in submersible is safe.”

The Titan submersible, built by OceanGate, imploded during its Titanic voyage last June, killing CEO Stockton Rush and four other passengers. OceanGate faced criticism for insufficient testing and experimental materials. The company suspended operations a month later, with investigations still underway.

Billionaire Plans Dive to Titanic Despite Previous OceanGate Tragedy
The OceanGate Submersible made news last June when it imploded on its way to the wreckage of the Titanic, killing its CEO Stockton Rush and 4 others in the submarine

The Titanic wreck lies 13,000 feet below sea level, where water pressure is extreme. “These can be dangerous conditions,” Connor said. “We will go through multiple steps and certifications to ensure the vessel, especially the hull, is safe.”

Mechanical engineer Bart Kemper, who criticized OceanGate before the Titan implosion, supports Triton Submarines. “The big difference here is that we’re using proven technology that’s still innovative but done the right way,” he said, expressing eagerness to join the mission.

Connor emphasized safety as the priority, ensuring the project won’t be rushed and will have DNV certification from one of the world’s leading certification bodies. OceanGate’s Titan vessel lacked independent safety classification.

“If you’re asking — are we confident we can do it safely? The answer’s yes,” Connor said.

The new submersible, estimated at $13 to $15 million and named The Explorer, aims to start research dives by summer 2026. Connor plans to dive with two pilots, himself, and Triton Submarines co-founder and CEO Patrick Lahey. However, if safety concerns arise, the project may be delayed or canceled.