Everett company explores Titanic wreckage

Friday is the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, and one Everett-based five person crew is taking the plunge to revisit the sunken ship.

Stockton Rush is the founder and CEO of Oceangate, the company leading the first multi-year study of the Titanic.

“Realizing that there’s really one object in the ocean that everyone on planet earth knows and that’s the Titanic,” Rush said. “And that makes it possible for us to do these very expensive and very complicated missions. There’s just this huge fascination.”

Rush says that this is a multi-agency effort, with help from Boeing, NASA, partners in Everett, and other scientists contributing time, energy, and equipment.

“The piece that we’re really focusing on this year is the biology,” Rush said. “It’s an artificial reef and you see everything from fish to lobsters to lots of soft corals and they’re populating the site, so we’re very excited to be able to take water samples this year and they’re going to do what’s called environmental DNA.”

The journey to the Titanic poses more challenges than the operation itself. The team has to transport materials from port to port and get through customs with heavy machinery.

After that is complete, the dive itself to the Titanic takes two and a half hours.

“You’ll see the weirdest things you’d ever see,” Rush said. “Things with two eyeballs and a gelatinous back end and stuff coming off of it but it’ll go racing by and you’ll be like, ‘What was that?’”

“I love sitting by the dome for that descent because you’ll see the most bizarre creatures.”

The team’s first dive is set for June 17 from St. John’s, Newfoundland.

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