Personal Connection Found Between Missing Submarine Pilot and Heroic Titanic Couple
The pilot of the submersible that has gone missing during a mission to explore the depths of the ocean and view the wreckage of the Titanic has a significant personal connection to two victims of the ill-fated ship. Records reveal that Stockton Rush, the CEO and pilot of OceanGate, has a wife named Wendy Rush who is a descendant of a famous elderly couple who tragically lost their lives in the 1912 disaster.
Wendy Rush, who serves as the Director of Communications and an expedition team member for OceanGate, is related to Ida and Isidor Straus. Isidor, a co-owner of Macy’s, and his wife Ida were first-class passengers aboard the Titanic’s maiden voyage. Witness accounts from the time highlight the heroism of the couple during their final moments together.
According to the U.K. government’s National Archives, when the ship struck the iceberg, Ida and Isidor were directed towards a lifeboat. However, Isidor selflessly refused to take a seat, insisting that younger men should have the opportunity instead. In a display of unwavering loyalty, Ida chose to stay by her husband’s side, declaring, “Where you go, I go.” Instead, Ida helped their maid, Ellen Bird, onto a lifeboat and handed her fur coat, acknowledging that she would no longer need it. Bird survived the tragedy.
The National Archives states that the last sighting of the couple was on the deck, holding hands, before being swept away by a wave into the sea. The heroic tale was confirmed during a memorial service for the Strauses at Carnegie Hall in May 1912. Mayor William Jay Gaynor recounted testimonies from survivors, highlighting the courage and devotion demonstrated by the couple, with Ida refusing to leave her husband’s side.
Descendants of the Straus family have also shared their accounts of the story. In 2017, their great-grandson Paul Kurzman revealed details passed down through generations, including Isidor’s unwavering commitment to ensuring the safety of women and children before considering his own well-being. The emotional scene depicting the couple’s refusal to separate was paid homage to in James Cameron’s acclaimed film “Titanic” (1997), further immortalizing their story.
Ida’s body was never recovered from the sea, while Isidor’s remains were eventually found and laid to rest in Woodlawn Cemetery in New York. At the time of their tragic deaths, Ida and Isidor were 63 and 67 years old, respectively, both born on February 6.
The personal connection between Stockton Rush and the heroic Straus couple adds an additional layer of significance and poignancy to the ongoing search for the missing submarine pilot.