After The OceanGate Implosion, The Ultra Wealthy Still Can’t Resist The Deep Sea

The Ocean floor off the coast of Sebastian, Florida, is littered with untold fortunes. For three centuries now, the sea has turned the gold and silver coins of the doomed Spanish treasure fleet over and over among strands of flowing seaweed and beneath the claws of scuttling crabs.

Twenty miles inland, plunked on an unassuming industrial lot amid a swampy expanse, lie vessels capable of surfacing that sunken bounty. Triton Submarines, founded in 2008, is one of the leading makers of personal submersibles, serving a deep-pocketed clientele with aspirations of exploring the undersea realm.

Patrick Lahey, the company’s co-founder and CEO, is one of the world’s most experienced submersible operators. He has piloted a sub to the deepest point in the ocean, more than 35,000 feet below the water’s surface in the West Pacific.

He speaks about his profession with passion, sometimes peppering his sentences with profanity. About a year ago, it seemed as though his work could all come screeching to a halt.

On June 18, 2023, the Titan, a submersible built by Seattle-based OceanGate, imploded during a trip to the Titanic, killing all five passengers onboard. The tragedy turned the world of personal submersibles from a luxury niche into a national fixation.

For those in this tight-knit industry, the losses were personal. Lahey was particularly fond of Paul-Henri Nargeolet, a Titan passenger and deep-sea explorer whom he knew as P.H. and considered a dear friend.

Read more here from The Wall Street Journal.