In 2000, Rory Golden descended two-and-a-half miles beneath the surface of the Atlantic to witness the Titanic's watery gravesite.
“When I first cast my eyes on the wreck," he says, "for me it was just an incredibly exciting and equally humbling and incredibly poignant moment and you have all these emotions all at once because you are looking at something very few people in the world have seen.”
Amazingly, the self-avowed Titanic expert wasn't originally a part of the dive team for the expedition.
"My role at the time was to be the dive safety supervisor, but that whole role changed over the course of the expedition," he says. “There was no guarantee of me going down there because I was very low in the pecking order."
But a memorial plaque he brought with him from Cobh ended up being Golden's ticket to the TItanic, joining the crew aboard an 18-tonne Russian submarine.
And he came back with more than memories, too, as a glint in the corner of his eye turned out to be the remains of the ship's wheel.
"I was the first person to touch the wheel of the ship since it went down in 1912 and probably the last person to hold it before it went down was Captain Smith.”
JOE.ie has much more on the story HERE.