Wife of pilot in fatal sub implosion descended from couple who died on Titanic, report says

Jun 22, 2023, 5:08 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — The wife of the man piloting the OceanGate tourist submersible when it imploded during this week’s dive to the Titanic wreckage site is a descendant of a wealthy couple who died when the ocean liner sank in 1912.

Archival records show that Wendy Rush, the wife of OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, is the great-great-granddaughter of Isidor and Ida Straus, The New York Times reported Thursday. Straus was a retailing magnate who co-owned Macy’s department store.

Born Wendy Hollings Weil, Wendy Rush wed Stockton Rush in 1986, according to their wedding announcement. The Times said it could not immediately reach Wendy Rush for additional comment.

The U.S. Coast Guard announced Thursday that Stockton Rush and the other four men aboard the submersible died when the craft imploded this week in the North Atlantic.

Isidor and Ida Straus have become known for a Titanic story about reportedly choosing to go down together on the sinking ship, arm in arm. Survivors said Isidor Straus would not get on a lifeboat while women and children were still waiting to be rescued, and his wife of four decades declared she would not abandon her husband.

Director James Cameron immortalized a fictionalized version of their story in his 1997 movie about the tragedy, which shows a shot of an older couple embracing in bed as waters rise.

The newspaper said Wendy Rush is descended from one of the Strauses’ daughters, Minnie. She married Dr. Richard Weil in 1905 and their son, Richard Weil Jr., Wendy Rush’s grandfather, was later president of Macy’s New York.

Isidor Straus’s body was found at sea several weeks after the disaster, according to New York Times archives. Ida Straus’s remains were not recovered.

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Wife of pilot in fatal sub implosion descended from couple who died on Titanic, report says