Wife of missing tourist submarine pilot is descendant of famous Titanic victims

The wife of the man behind the missing Titanic tourist submersible, who is also the pilot on board, is descended from a couple who drowned on the Titanic in 1912.

Stockton Rush is CEO of OceanGate Expeditions, the firm behind the Titan sub that lost communication with its mothership in the Atlantic on Sunday (June 18).

He is married to Wendy Rush, the great-great-granddaughter of Isidor and Ida Straus.

READ MORE: Titanic submarine search LIVE: Exact time oxygen runs out as rescuers face race against time

The New York Times reports the couple were first-class passengers on the doomed ocean liner, among the wealthiest people to have died in the tragedy.

Isidor was born in 1845 and co-owned Macy's, the giant US department store chain.

It is also reported that Titanic survivors recalled seeing him refuse a seat on a lifeboat to allow women and children to escape first. His wife is said to have refused to leave her husband's side, with the couple standing side-by-side as the Titanic sank.

Ida is believed to have handed her coat to her maid Ellen Bird, who did escape on a lifeboat.

This scene is actually immortalised in James Cameron's 1997 film about the incident that features a shot of an older couple embracing in bed as water rushes on board.

According to the New York Times, Isidor's body was recovered at sea around two weeks after the Titanic sank. Ida was never found.

Wendy is descended from Isidor and Ida's daughter Minnie. Minnie's son Richard Weil Jr served as president of Macy's New York. His son Dr Richard Weil III is Wendy Rush's father.

Wendy married engineer and entrepreneur Stockton Rush in 1986. He founded OceanGate expeditions in 2009.

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