Wendy Rush, the OceanGate communications director, is the great-great-grandchild of Titanic passengers Isidor and Ida Straus, according to The New York Times.
First-class passenger Isidor Straus refused to take a seat on a lifeboat when women and children were still waiting to get off the sinking ship, and he was joined by his wife Ida, who would not leave his side.
The couple, who were among the richest passengers aboard, were seen standing arm-in-arm on the deck of the liner when it went down, says the newspaper.
The RMS Titanic’s final resting spot is approximately 370 miles off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada in the North Atlantic Ocean. It sank in 1912, killing approximately 1,500 people on board. Its coordinates are 41º43’32”N, 49º56’49”W.
The wreckage was discovered in 1985 and named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2012.
Mr Straus was born in 1845 and was a co-owner of Macy’s department store, reported the Times.
A fictionalized version of the couple’s story was seen in the 1997 film Titanic by James Cameron, which featured a shot of an older couple embracing in bed as the cold Atlantic waters rose around their cabin.
Mr Straus’s body was found at sea several weeks after the Titanic sank, while his wife’s remains were never discovered, according to the paper’s archives.
Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son Suleman Dawood are missing along with British billionaire explorer Hamish Harding, renowned French diver Paul-Henri Nargeolet and Mr Rush.
The Titan sub began its journey to the wreck site, which sits at a depth of 12,500 in the Atlantic Ocean, on Sunday morning.
About an hour and 45 minutes later, the Titan lost contact with its surface ship, the Polar Prince. The Titan is equipped with a four-day emergency oxygen supply.
Officials say that a Canadian aircraft involved in the search detected intermittent “banging” noises from the vicinity of its last known location.
Mr Dawood and his son, who are both British citizens, are part of a prominent Pakistani family, which has investments in the country’s agriculture and industry.