More details about the father and son killed in the Titan disaster have emerged as the teen’s mother reveals she was on board the support boat when the implosion happened.
Christine Dawood, mother of 19-year-old Suleman Dawood and wife of Shahzada Dawood, who were both on the doomed submersible, has revealed she gave up her seat on the trip so her son could ride along.
Ms Dawood and her 17-year-old daughter Alina were on the Polar Prince, the submarine’s supply ship, when the Titan lost communications and was never heard from again, she told the BBC.
The mother-of-two revealed she took a step back to allow her son to take her place on the trip and he was “so excited” about trying to break a Guinness World Record – by winning 3,700 Meters underground a Rubik’s Cube triggered sea.
UK-based management consultant Shahzada, 48, was one of five people on the submersible on June 18 along with his son.
The couple set out on Sunday June 18 along with three other crew members, Hamish Harding, Stockton Rush and Paul-Henry Nargeolet, but the submersible never returned.
After an hour and 45 minutes of sailing, it lost contact with its mother ship Polar Prince and parts of the wreck were found days later after an extensive search by international agencies.
Who is Shahzada Dawood?
Shahzada was born in Pakistan and now lives in Surbiton in Surrey with his wife Christine Dawood and their two children.
The 48-year-old is a business consultant and sits on the board of various charities and organizations.
When he died he was a board member of Prince’s Trust International and Vice Chairman of Pakistan’s Engro Corporation.
In a statement ahead of the announcement of his death, Shahzada’s family said: “Shahzada has been active in promoting a culture of learning, sustainability and diversity in his capacity as Vice Chairman of Pakistan’s Engro Corporation.
“With a passion for social impact, he works extensively with the Engro Foundation, the Dawood Foundation, the SETI Institute and Prince’s Trust International.
“Away from his office he has spoken passionately before the United Nations in 2020 on the International Day of Women and Girls in Science and at the Oxford Union in 2022.
“His interests include photography, especially wildlife photography, and exploring different natural habitats, while Suleman is a big fan of science fiction literature and learning new things.”
Who is Shahzada’s wife Christine Dawood?
Christine Dawood is a German-born coach and psychologist. The couple have two children together, Suleman, 19, and Alina, who is older.
Ms. Dawood originally pursued a career as an engineer, but gave it up when she was involved in a near-fatal plane crash while traveling with her husband in 2019.
Ms. Dawood wrote of the incident on her blog: “I have often read that in such situations people start praying or their life flies by like a movie.
“My husband later told me he thought about all the opportunities he had missed and how much he still wanted to teach our kids.”
Who are the Dawood children?
Suleman was studying business administration at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland when he embarked on the Titan journey with his father.
Alina, the older sister, studied English literature at university and received honors and awards for her academic work.
Alina and Suleman grew up in both Pakistan and London.
Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Rector of Strathclyde University, said in a statement: “It is with a heavy heart that I am writing to share the news that one of our students, Suleman Dawood, is a passenger on board the submersible that has gone missing in the North Atlantic.” .
“We are deeply concerned for Suleman, his father and the others involved in this incident.
“I know that you will join me in sending our thoughts and prayers to their families and loved ones.”
Speaking to the BBC about her son, Ms Dawood said Suleman was “so excited” to break a world record underwater with his Rubik’s Cube.
She said her son loved the puzzle and was able to solve it in just 12 seconds. His goal was to solve the Rubik’s Cube 3,700 meters below the surface of the sea, setting a Guinness World Record.
The Dawood family is considered one of the wealthiest in Pakistan and has strong ties to the United Kingdom.
What happened to Shahzada and Suleman Dawood?
The father and son were reported dead on June 22, four days after they set out for the wreckage of the Titanic with three other men aboard the Titan submersible.
The submersible set out on Sunday June 18, but all contact with it was lost after an hour and 45 minutes of travel.
As part of a rescue mission, two remote-controlled vehicles were dispatched to search the area around the Titanic from the sea surface to the depths.
Two days later, on June 20, debris from the submarine was discovered.
The U.S. Coast Guard said it discovered debris on the seabed “consistent with the catastrophic loss of the hyperbaric chamber.”
Just four days after the voyage began, on Thursday, June 22, OceanGate Expeditions released a statement stating, “We now believe that our CEO Stockton Rush, Shahzada Dawood, and his son Suleman Dawood, Hamish Harding, and Paul-Henri Nargeolet have unfortunately been lost.”
The emergency services continue to investigate the crime scene and what happened.