By: Ben Cleary
The first manned-submersible dives to the Titanic wreck site since 2005 will begin this summer
Titanic expeditions will be brought to Newfoundland by OceanGate, a company based out of Everett, Washington, that specializes in manned exploration of the deep ocean. The trip costs between $105,000 to $130,000 US.
All trips to the wreck site will be using a privately-owned submersible named ‘Titan,’ the world’s only 5-person submersible capable of reaching depths of 4,000 metres. OceanGate will run a series of dives between late-June to mid-August, and is currently waitlist only, however, spots are open for 2020.
Titanic specialist Larry Daley of St. John’s will be providing logistics and other support for the expeditions.
Daley visited the Titanic site in June 2003, and shared some of his own experiences with The Newfoundland Herald. When you first go down the 3,840 meters (12, 500 feet) to the site, Daley says you are struck by a wave of emotions.
“It hits home that you’re at the gravesite of the loss of 1500 men, women and children, which could definitely have been avoided but wasn’t because of the arrogance and ignorance about the safety on the ship,” he explains.
It is a memory Daley says that will stay with him for the rest of his life.
“More people have been to outer space, or climbed Mount Everest, than have dove two and a half miles down, let alone visit the wreck of the Titanic. So I’m very fortunate to be one of 150 people in the world as of now (to visit the Titanic site).”
Daley, was actually given his trip to the wreck site by a friend, for free. He went down to “the most famous wreck in the world” on a Russian submersible. The ride was gifted to him by filmmaker James Cameron and the Russian sailors that were involved in the project they were working on at the time.
A Famous Friend
Daley first met director James Cameron in 2001, while they were working on James Cameron’s Ghosts of the Abyss a docu-drama where Cameron, the late Bill Paxton (who appeared in Aliens, Apollo 13), and others travel down to the site of the Titanic.
Daley was doing some leg work for Cameron’s team, when he was called into the bosses office. James Cameron sat Daley down, with Paxton in the room as well, and told him, “I want you to stop running around and doing the work you’ve been doing.”
Daley thought something must have been wrong and asked if everything was alright. Cameron replied, “There’s nothing wrong but from now on you’re going to be the logistics specialist and the Canadian producer on Ghosts of the Abyss.”
Later, when Cameron had to take a phone call Daley leaned over to Bill Paxton and asked what a producer had to do. Paxton replied “just keep doing what you’re doing, he (James Cameron) loves ya.”
Since then, Daley has worked with the Discovery Channel, History Channel and other media on expeditions to the Titanic site over the past two decades. Daley is excited about OceanGate coming and setting up shop in St. John’s. On one hand, he says it’s great to have a new light back on the Titanic, and have an idea of what the state of the wreck is.
On the other, it’s a great chance for Newfoundland tourism as many of the people planning to visits the Titanic would “be of the same people that could be on the waitlist for booking Virgin Galactic space flights.”
If you’re hoping to one day visit the site of the Titanic, you better plan your trip soon says Daley. “It’s a wreck that is deteriorating rapidly. It’s not going to be there forever, the consumption from the rusticles (bacteria) is going to cause it (The Titanic) to collapse on itself.”
April 14, 2019 marked the 107th Anniversary of the Titanic sinking