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OceanGate co-founder plans dive to Bahamas' 'portal to hell'

OceanGate co-founder plans dive to Bahamas' 'portal to hell'

Related video above: A year after the Titan's tragic dive, deep-sea explorers vow to continue

(NewsNation) — A year after the Titan submersible disaster, OceanGate co-founder Guillermo Söhnlein is organizing a new underwater expedition to explore Dean's Blue Hole in the Bahamas.

Söhnlein, who left OceanGate in 2013, now leads Blue Marble Exploration. The company plans to send a manned submersible to the 663-foot-deep underwater sinkhole, often referred to as the "portal to hell" due to local superstitions.

Dean's Blue Hole is one of the world's deepest ocean sinkholes. The expedition faces challenges including extreme pressure, near-complete darkness and potential unforeseen currents.

"Dean’s Blue Hole remains virtually unexplored," Blue Marble Exploration stated on its website. "Offering an opportunity to discover the hidden secrets of cave-dwelling species, geological climate history and unique ecosystems."

“Locals believe that Dean’s is a portal to hell and the devil himself lurks in the black depths,” Blue Marble Exploration’s website previously stated.

Söhnlein told The Independent that the mission will use certified submersibles and involve only trained professionals, not tourists. This differs from the OceanGate trip last June, which ended in tragedy when the Titan submersible imploded during a dive into the Titanic wreck, killing all five aboard.

The Dean's Blue Hole expedition team will include scientist Kenny Broad and former NASA astronaut Scott Parazynski. They aim to gather unprecedented findings about the sinkhole, which formed approximately 15,000 years ago, according to the New York Post.

Despite the risks, Söhnlein remains committed to underwater exploration. Following last year's OceanGate disaster, he told Reuters, "Let's figure out what went wrong, let's learn lessons and let's get down there again. I think it's important for humanity."

The exact date for the Blue Marble expedition has not been announced.

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