Descendants of Titanic Victims Speak Out Against Deep Sea Trips, Saying They Exploit Tragedy, Grave Rob Site
"Would you open up graves at a grave site and rob it? I would certainly hope not!" one descendant tells Inside Edition. "And that's exactly what they are doing on the Titanic."
OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, who also piloted the ill-fated submersible on its final voyage, is married to the great-great-grand daughter of Isidor and Ida straus.
That is the couple made famous in James Cameron's 1997 film, seen lying in bed and holding one another as water fills their cabin.
The two were co-owners of Macy's department store, and Ida refused to leave the doomed vessel on a lifeboat without her husband.
A memorial to the couple in Manhattan is inscribed: "In their death, they were not divided."
The family of Wendy Rush is divided, however, with some firmly against her husband's company and the idea of commercializing what to them is a family tragedy.
"I've always been uncomfortable with the exploitation of the ship down there. Over a thousand people died," family historian Brett Gladstone tells Inside Edition. "My great great-grandmother's body was never found, it lies at the bottom. Her soul and the souls of a thousand people remains in a kind of graveyard."
Other descendants of those who lost their lives had a similar distaste for the actions of Titanic researcher Pierre Nageolet, another passenger on the ill-fated vessel the Titan.
The French maritime expert oversaw the removal of over 5,000 artifacts from the site of the shipwreck, including a large piece of the hull that is now on display as part of a Titanic exhibit at the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas.
John Locascio is the great-great nephew of two waiters who lost their lives on the ship.
"Would you open up graves at a grave site and rob it? I would certainly hope not!" Locascio tells Inside Edition. "And that's exactly what they are doing on the Titanic."
Shelly Binder's great-great grandmother and great uncle, who was just a baby, both survived:
"To pay $250,000 to put your life on the line, it's beyond obsession," she says. "I would love to see that money go toward proper restoration and conservation of the artifacts that have been retrieved from the ship."
"If the Titanic could speak, it would say enough is enough!," a descendant says. "Stop sending people down here."
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