Tuesday, 18 April 2017 13:57

Titanic Passenger Dive Tours Venture has Family Links with South Island’s Takaro Lodge

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Reinforces New Zealand connections with doomed Atlantic Liner


 New Zealand’s connection to the world’s most famous shipwreck the Titanic has become reinforced with the entry by Ocean Gate into the passenger tour business starting next year with scheduled dive tours to the wreck.

Ocean Gate is organised by Stockton Rush (pictured above) who is part of the family of the late Stockton Rush 11 who invented the high end terrestrial tourist business in New Zealand.

United States oilman Stockton Rush 11 developed Takaro Lodge in the South Island southern lakes district as a conservation and tourist centre for the rich.

The problem for the Lodge was that Mr Rush’s development coincided with the Labour government of Prime Ministers Norman Kirk and Wallace Rowling.

At this time the Labour government was anxious to be seen to be returning to its working class roots.

The publicity surrounding Takaro Lodge and especially its bathroom fittings which were said to be gold plated, along with the moneyed celebrities who stayed there meant that the Lodge became a target for government-inspired obstacles.

The current Stockton Rush is similarly in the premium tourist business, though this time of an undersea nature, and based in the United States.

Round dive costs have been calculated on an inflation adjusted formula relating to a first class trans-Atlantic berth on the Titanic itself (pictured below), this being in the region of NZ$150,000.

A qualified aerospace engineer and commercial pilot, Mr Rush is supervising the construction of his passenger dive craft known as Cyclops 2.

The Rush family’s tourist-based connection with New Zealand and the Titanic supplements the better known one of film magnate James Cameron and New Zealand.

It was Mr Cameron’s film, coincidentally financed by Rupert Murdoch, a continuing New Zealand omnipresence, that re-ignited the curiosity about the disaster and its causes and effects.

Subsequently New Zealand relatives have been discovered of Frederick Fleet the crows nest look out who first sounded the alarm about the imminence of the iceberg.

Mr Fleet later testified at the court of inquiry that the absence of any binoculars at his post meant that his warning came too late.

Meanwhile the Stockton Rush of Takaro Lodge fame an imposing-looking man who resembled the actor James Garner died at the age of 69 in 2000.

Mr Cameron with his numerous projects with New Zealander Peter Jackson resides in the Wairarapa Valley in which he has established a health foods grocery.

Lookout Frederick Fleet died in 1965.

|  From the MSCNewsWire reporters' desk  ||  Tuesday 18 April 2017   |||