The British university student who was killed in the tragic Titanic submarine ‘implosion’ was ‘terrified’ about the trip and only joined the crew to please his dad for Father’s Day, his heartbroken aunt has revealed.
Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman, 19, were two of the five victims killed instantly when the OceanGate submersible suffered a ‘catastrophic implosion’ just 1,600ft from the bow of the Titanic, according to the US Coast Guard.
The other victims were OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, French Navy veteran Paul-Henri (PH) Nargeolet and British billionaire Hamish Harding. They had been missing since the Titan sub vanished on Sunday, prompting a nail-biting search for the crew.
Tragically, Azmeh Dawood told NBC News that her nephew informed a relative he ‘wasn’t very up for it’ but felt compelled to please his father, who was very passionate about the 1912 shipwreck.
‘I am thinking of Suleman, who is 19, in there, just perhaps gasping for breath… It’s been crippling, to be honest,’ the devastated aunt and sister told the US outlet from her home in Amsterdam.
University student Suleman (left), 19, and his father Shahzada Dawood (right) were two of the five victims who were killed instantly when the OceanGate submersible suffered a ‘catastrophic implosion’
Azmeh Dawood (pictured) – the older sister of Mr Dawood – revealed today that her nephew was ‘terrified’ about the trip and only went on it to please his father
Mr Dawood and his son were heirs to the great Dawood business dynasty and amongst the richest people in Pakistan- although they lived in Surrey, England
Suleman (pictured) was studying at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow before his death
Sulaiman Dawood, 19, pictured with his mother Christine, a coach and psychologist
The older sister of Mr Dawood, who was the vice chairman of Engro Corporation, reportedly said through tears: ‘I feel disbelief. It’s an unreal situation.’
Azmeh, who like the other anxious relatives was hoping for a miracle, continued: ‘I feel like I’ve been caught in a really bad film, with a countdown, but you didn’t know what you’re counting down to.’
She said she ‘personally found it kind of difficult to breathe thinking of them’, adding: ‘It’s been unlike any experience I’ve ever had’.
Azmeh herself admitted she would not have gotten on the Titan submersible ‘if you gave me a million dollars’.
Mr Dawood’s sister said she had fallen out of touch with him in recent years.
Azmeh was diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis in 2014 and ‘reduced to being in a wheelchair’.
She had moved from England to Amsterdam to have easier access to medical cannabis – something her family members, including her brother, disapproved of.
Shahzada Dawood, 48, (pictured with his wife Christine) was a UK-based board member of the Prince’s Trust charity
The Dawood family paid tribute following the announcement that Shahzada and his son Suleman were among those who died
But after hearing the tragic news, she was reminded of her love for her brother. ‘He was my baby brother, I held him up when he was born,’ she said.
Azmeh said she always felt close to Suleman who she described as ‘thoroughly good-hearted’.
Suleman’s grandparents, Hussain and Kulsum Dawood, paid tribute to their beloved grandson and son, describing their passing as an ‘unimaginable loss’.
News of the tragic deaths emerged today, with the US Coast Guard revealing that debris the search mission had discovered was ‘consistent with the catastrophic loss of the pressure chamber’.
‘Upon this determination we immediately notified the families,’ US Coast Guard Rear Admiral John Mauger told a press conference attended by reporters from across the globe.
‘On behalf of the Coast Guard and the entire unified command, I offer my deepest condolences to the families.’
It would have been an instant death for the men, some of whom had paid £195,000 ($250,000) each to see the famous shipwreck.
In a gut-wrenching blow for their families, experts say there is little prospect of recovering any of their remains.
A source said Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood was ‘driven by a passion of exploration’
As search and rescue teams continued to cling onto hope of finding the sub on Wednesday, the Dawoods’ family gathered above the water where the vessel was last seen.
A family source told MailOnline that Mr Dawood’s wife Christine and daughter Alina were at the search site and would wait there ‘as long as they can’.
The source added: ‘It’s not clear what it was that made Mr Dawood want to go and visit the Titanic with his son, but he is driven by a passion of exploration, and I understand this was something that had been planned for some time.’
Mr Dawood and his son were heirs to the great Dawood business dynasty and among the richest people in Pakistan.
They were British citizens and lived in Surbiton, Surrey. Suleman and his older sister were both raised in London.
Suleman was studying at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. He was a Business School student and had just completed his first year.
Five people were onboard, including British billionaire adventurer Hamish Harding (pictured)
French Navy veteran PH Nargeolet (left) was also in the sub along with Stockton Rush (right), CEO of the OceanGate Expedition
Before his death was announced, Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal and Vice Chancellor, said in a statement: ‘I write to you with a heavy heart to share the news that one of our students, Suleman Dawood, is a passenger on board the submersible that is missing in the North Atlantic.
‘We are deeply concerned about Suleman, his father and the others involved in this incident. I know you will join me in sending our thoughts and prayers to their families and loved ones.’
A family statement earlier in the week described Suleman as ‘a big fan of science fiction literature and learning new things’.
US Coast Guard Rear Admiral John Mauger announcing the men’s deaths today at a press conference in Boston. ‘The debris is consistent with the catastrophic loss of the pressure chamber. Upon this determination we immediately notified the families. ‘On behalf of the Coast Guard and the entire unified command, I offer my deepest condolences to the families.’
Rescuers had scrambled to locate the missing Titanic tourist submersible but it was confirmed that debris had been found from it today
Suleman’s mother Christine, a psychologist and life coach, and his sister Alina had been spending a month in Canada before the father and son undertook the dive.
In January 2019, Christine revealed how she and her husband had been involved in a terrifying plane ‘plunge’, during which they felt they were going to die.
‘My husband told me later that he was thinking of all the opportunities he’d missed and how much he still wanted to teach our children,’ Christine said in a heartbreaking post at the time.
Ahsen Uddin Syed, a friend of Mr Dawood’s who worked with him at his company, said earlier this week that the businessman was ‘an explorer’.
‘Traveling, science, are part of his DNA,’ Syed told The New York Times.
He added that Mr Dawood loved Star Trek and Star Wars and was a keen photographer.
Mr Dawood was a trustee at the SETI Institute – a Silicon Valley not-for-profit working in space exploration.
He was also a supporter of two charities founded by King Charles – the British Asian Trust and the Prince’s Trust International.
The Dawood family released a statement on Twitter on Thursday night, saying ‘it is with profound grief that we announce the passing of Shahzada and Suleman Dawood’.
‘Our beloved sons were aboard OceanGate’s Titan submersible that perished underwater.
‘Please continue to keep the departed souls and our family in your prayers during this difficult period of mourning.
In this U.S. Coast Guard handout, a Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina HC-130 Hercules airplane flies over the French research vessel, L’Atalante approximately 900 miles East of Cape Cod during the search for the 21-foot submersible, Titan, June 21, 2023 over the Atlantic Ocean
‘We are truly grateful to all those involved in the rescue operations. Their untiring efforts were a source of strength for us during this time.
‘We are also indebted to our friends, family, colleagues, and well-wishers from all over the world who have stood by us during our hour of need. The immense love and support we receive continues to help us to endure this unimaginable loss.
‘We extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of the other passengers on the Titan submersible. At this time, we are unable to receive calls and request that support, condolences, and prayers be messaged instead. Details of their final rites in this world will be announced soon.’
The statement was signed by Mr Dawood’s parents, Hussain and Kulsum, philanthropists who run an educational charity and the heads of the family dynasty.
Mr Dawood’s sister, Sabrina, said as the rescue mission was underway that he and his son would be ‘as moved as we are by the support of the global community’.
As tributes for the father and son continue to pour in, Mr Dawood’s company shared condolences with the family.
In a statement, Engro Corporation, the Pakistani conglomerate that he was vice chairman of, said: ‘With heavy hearts and great sadness, we grieve the loss of our vice chairman, Shahzada Dawood, and his beloved son, Suleman Dawood.
‘Our thoughts and prayers are with the Dawood family at this tragic time.
‘We extend our heartfelt condolences to the family, colleagues, friends and all those around the world who grieve this unthinkable loss.’
After days of searching for the lost Titan sub, officials today announced that the five passengers on board had perished.
Among them was British billionaire adventurer Hamish Harding, whose family have paid tribute to him as a ‘dedicated father’ and ‘living legend’ who died doing what he loved.
French Navy veteran Paul-Henri (PH) Nargeolet, who was an experienced Titanic diver, also lost his life.
In a heartbreaking tribute, Richard Garriott, president of the Explorers Club, of which Harding and Nargeolet were both members, said that the men had been drawn to explore ‘in the name of meaningful science for the betterment of mankind.’
‘Our hearts are broken. I am so sorry to have to share this tragic news,’ Garriott announced. He said the club was ‘grateful for all our members and the scientific and exploration community around the world who have mobilized personnel and resources to support the search and rescue’.
Garriott described Harding as a ‘dear friend’ to himself and the club. ‘He holds several world records and has continued to push dragons off maps both in person and through supporting expeditions and worthy causes,’ he wrote.
‘We’re heartbroken for the families, friends and colleagues of those who were lost. Their memories will be a blessing and will continue to inspire us in the name of science and exploration,’ Garriott said.
In a statement confirming their deaths, OceanGate said: ‘We now believe that our CEO Stockton Rush, Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman Dawood, Hamish Harding, and Paul-Henri Nargeolet, have sadly been lost.
French explorer PH Nargeolet was among those lost on the Titan submersible
‘These men were true explorers who shared a distinct spirit of adventure, and a deep passion for exploring and protecting the world’s oceans.
‘Our hearts are with these five souls and every member of their families during this tragic time. We grieve the loss of life and joy they brought to everyone they knew.’
The company added: ‘This is an extremely sad time for our dedicated employees who are exhausted and grieving deeply over this loss.
‘The entire OceanGate family is deeply grateful for the countless men and women from multiple organizations of the international community who expedited wide-ranging resources and have worked so very hard on this mission.
The debris was discovered by the Odysseus 6K, the remote-operated submarine deployed by the Horizon Arctic. The ROV can dive up to 20,000ft
‘We appreciate their commitment to finding these five explorers, and their days and nights of tireless work in support of our crew and their families.
‘This is a very sad time for the entire explorer community, and for each of the family members of those lost at sea.’
Until reports of a ‘debris field’ emerged, which was later confirmed to include pieces of the Titan, the world had been praying for a ‘miracle’ for the passengers on board the lost vessel.
Officials said the field had been found by Odysseus 6k, a remote operated vehicle (ROV) deployed by the Canadian vessel, the Horizon Arctic, that can dive 20,000ft underwater.
On Wednesday, rescuers estimated that the vital oxygen supply would end at 7.08am EST (12.08pm UK time, 9.09pm Sydney) the next day.
A glimmer of hope came on Wednesday when the Coast Guard confirmed consistent ‘banging’ noises had been detected by P-3 aircraft, but the search teams were unable to find the source of the sound, or confirm that they were the SOS signals the world had hoped for.
But, experts warned for days of the possibility that the Titan had sprung a leak and imploded under the pressure, which is 400 times that experienced at sea level.
With officials now confirming that the search had discovered debris ‘consistent with a catastrophic loss of the pressure chamber,’ it is believed the five passengers could have been killed instantaneously, possibly as communications dropped on Sunday.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12224919/Student-19-killed-Titanic-submarine-implosion-terrified-trip.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Student, 19, who was killed in Titanic submarine ‘implosion’ was ‘terrified’ about the trip