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Titanic mission

Triton Submarines is aiming to descend to the Titanic wreck to showcase its most advanced model to date.

07 June 2024


US real estate investor Larry Connor of Dayton, Ohio has teamed up with Triton Submarines co-founder Patrick Lahey in a plan to descend more than 3.7 kilometres to the Titanic site in a two-person submersible to prove sub travel done “the right way” is safe.

Triton CEO, Patrick Lahey has designed a $AUD30-million vessel called the Triton 4000/2 Abyssal Explorer.

“Patrick has been thinking about and designing this for over a decade,” Connor said. “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,” he added.

In August 2019, Triton carried out an historic dive to the depths of the North Atlantic to survey the wreck of the Titanic with a team of international deep-sea explorers on board.


Just four years later on 18 June 2023, Titan, a submersible operated by the American tourism and expeditions company OceanGate, imploded during an expedition to view the wreck of the Titanic in the North Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada.

Caused by engineering weaknesses in the vessel, the disaster claimed the lives of all five passengers on board, including OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush. It was found that OceanGate had not certified the vessel through safety organisations such as the American Bureau of Shipping and Det Norske Veritas in Europe.

The TRITON 4000/2 Abyssal Explorer is the next generation of high-performance submersible that was designed as a flexible platform for professional applications. Its 4,000-metre depth rating makes it ideal for repeated trips to the deep ocean.

With an exceptionally compact footprint, the Gull Wing arrangement allows the vehicle to be stored and maintained from a small garage.

While diving, the protected Gull Wing design provides an unrivalled versatility of operation. With the wings retracted, the submersible is streamlined for ascent and descent, and capable of manoeuvring in and around incredibly tight spaces.

The low placement of the lighting and cameras is ideal for macro work, scientific observation or close filming.

With the wings partially deployed, the TRITON Abyssal Explorer’s Silent Glide feature enables to the submersible to track objects, maintain a heading and glide towards points of interest without engaging its eight, direct-drive thrusters.

Fully deployed, the Gull Wings raise the vehicle’s propulsion up and away from the seabed, ensuring that delicate species or free-floating objects remain undisturbed. Cameras, placed at the wing tips, provide a perfect external vantage point from which to film the submersible and its occupants; perfect for presenter-led productions.

The TRITON 4000/2 Abyssal Explorer’s pro-level inbuilt lighting rig will bring light where there has only ever been darkness, a major plus for filmmakers, scientists and surveyors.

Spread across the giant six-metre wing span, powerful LED’s flood-light the scene without generating the backscatter effect sometimes generated by lights placed close to the hull. Cameras and light panels placed on opposing wingtips provides a pleasing side-lit visual.

The signature retractable wings provide the stability and control required for the close inspection of subsea structures and environmental features, as well as providing wide-field flood-illumination for dramatically increased visibility.

According to its designer, “As a platform, the TRITON Abyssal Explorer’s capabilities are simply unmatched – it’s the only acrylic-hulled submersible commercially certified for dives over 13,000 feet.

“Like all other Tritons, it takes advantage of our exclusive manufacturing process to produce the world’s only completely colourless, optically perfect hulls. Featuring zero distortion, Triton hulls are the preferred choice of high-end filmmakers.

“Our work on Blue Planet II and the Five Deeps Expedition has taught us that there are times when it is desirable for a submersible to be launched and be subsurface as quickly as possible. It may be to catch a short window in the weather or, for example, in response to a passing pod of Orca. For these occasions, we’ve created Direct Dive – allowing you to launch the submersible ‘heavy’ and begin the dive the second it is released.”

The TRITON 4000/2 Abyssal Explorer features large vents, a streamlined launch profile and simplified launch procedures. Once subsurface, the submersible’s hydrodynamic shape – with wings folded – speeds the descent to 13,000 feet (4,000 metres). The journey takes less than two hours, which is significantly faster than previously possible.



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