Defying The Deep: Billionaire Larry Connor Plans Titanic Dive Nearly A Year After OceanGate Tragedy

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Almost a year after the OceanGate Titan submersible imploded, killing all five people aboard, real estate billionaire Larry Connor revealed plans for a similar voyage.

Connor contacted Triton Submarine CEO Patrick Lahey after the Titan tragedy. He informed him the company could construct a submersible capable of descending to Titanic depths "repeatedly and safely." 

Connor, who completed three dives with Lahey in 2021, aims to demonstrate that exploring the Titanic wreckage can be safely achieved with proper engineering. Connor and Lahey will travel in the Triton 4000/2 "Abyss Explorer. The $20 million two-person vessel can descend exceeding 13,000 feet. The date of the voyage has not been announced.

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"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," Connor told The Wall Street Journal.

The Connor Group, founded by Connor, is a real estate company based in Dayton, Ohio, focusing on investments in luxury apartment communities. With assets exceeding $5 billion spread across 18 U.S. markets, it is a significant player in the industry. Forbes estimates Connor's personal net worth at $2 billion.

"First and foremost, we're professional managers who buy good properties that are underperforming," Connor states on the company's website. "Then we significantly improve the bottom line by starting with the right people. That hasn't changed. That is the strategy."

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The Connor Group is also known for giving back to the community. A percentage of its revenue goes to its nonprofit arm, The Connor Group Kids and Community Partners, which helps underserved children in the communities it operates. The company intends to invest approximately $500 million in nonprofits over the next decade.

In addition to running a real estate empire, Connor is well-known as an explorer. On April 8, 2022, he participated in the first all-private space flight to the International Space Station (ISS). The mission, a collaboration between Houston-based Axiom Space and Elon Musk's SpaceX, sent the crew to the ISS for 17 dates before splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean on April 25, 2022.

His other adventures include rafting on the Zambezi River in Africa, the Futaleufu River in Chile and various rivers throughout the U.S. In 2009, he participated in the inaugural descent of the Drangme Chhu River in the Himalayan Mountains. Connor also summited Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa's highest mountain at 19,308 feet, in 2007.

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