By now, everyone has heard about the Titan submersible that went missing on Sunday (June 18). Owned and operated by OceanGate, the tourist submersible set out into the mid-Atlantic Ocean Sunday morning before disappearing 45 minutes into what was supposed to be a two-hour dive to the Titanic wreckage.
There were five passengers aboard the sub – Hamish Harding (chairman of Action Aviation), Shahzada Dawood (vice chairman of Engro and Dawood Hercules Corp.), Suleman Dawood (19-year-old son of Shahzada), Paul-Henri Nargeolet (French deep sea explorer), and Stockton Rush (OceanGate CEO).
What we’re learning now is that Wendy Rush, the wife of Stockton Rush – CEO of the company that owns the sub – is the great-great-granddaughter of two passengers who died on the Titanic. Now, more than 111 years later, Wendy’s husband died in a submersible en route to the Titanic’s wreckage site.
Now, several days after the tragedy occurred, it’s being reported that the actor who portrayed Rush’s great-great-grandfather in the movie as passed away. According to E! News, at 94 years old, actor Lew Palter has passed away.
According to Palter’s family, the actor passed away a month ago, on May 21, after battling lung cancer.
Wendy Rush, who was listed as an expedition team member and director of communications at OceanGate, married Stockton Rush in 1986. At the time, Wendy was a licensed pilot and substitute teacher in the Lancaster, CA school district. She used to work for Ladd Associates in San Francisco.
Her great-great-grandparents – Isidor Straus and Ida Straus – had a daughter named Minnie, who is Wendy’s great-grandmother. Isidor and Ida were on board the Titanic in 1912 when it hit an iceberg and sank to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, killing more than 1,500 of the estimated 2,225 passengers.
Isidor and Ida were on their way back to the United States after a brief visit to their home country of Germany. They were traveling with their newly-appointed maid and manservant. While they generally preferred to travel on German vessels, they were impressed by the luxurious nature of the Titanic.
According to the National Archives: “After Titanic had hit the iceberg, Isidor and Ida were directed to lifeboat eight. However, the aging Isidor refused to board the lifeboat while there were younger men being prevented from boarding. Ida also refused to get into the lifeboat saying, ‘Where you go, I go.’”
The couple was last seen holding hands on the deck of the Titanic before they were swept away by a wave. While Isador’s body was recovered, his wife’s body wasn’t. In their memory, there’s an Isidor and Ida Straus Memorial at the intersection of Broadway and West End Avenue at W. 106th Street.
OceanGate Confirms the Titan Submersible Imploded
The Titan submersible went missing roughly 45 minutes after setting out into the Atlantic Ocean. At the time, there was hope that the submersible would be found. Unfortunately, a four-day-long search confirmed what many people had feared – the submersible had imploded and the passengers were dead.
The search turned up several pieces of debris and various sounds that are consistent with a ‘catastrophic implosion’ – which led experts to believe there were no survivors. While a more thorough investigation will follow, the search crew is unsure if the bodies of the passengers – or the Titan – will ever be recovered.
“These men were true explorers who shared a distinct spirit of adventure, and a deep passion for exploring and protecting the world’s oceans,” OceanGate said in a statement on Thursday (June 22). “Our hearts are with these five souls and every member of their families during this tragic time.”
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