The wife of one of the victims of the Titanic disaster said her husband, Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood, and their teenage son, Suleman, were excited to see the Titanic wreck before boarding the doomed ship.
Christine Dawood and her daughter Alina were aboard Titan’s mothership, the Polar Prince, when word came that they had lost communication shortly after it began its descent at 8 a.m. Sunday, June 18.
A major search-and-rescue mission was launched that went on for days, and while her daughter clung to hope throughout, Christine said she “lost hope when we passed the 96-hour mark.”
‘That’s when I lost hope. That’s when I sent the message to my family on the ground, I said, ‘I’m preparing for the worst.’
Christine paid tribute to her 19-year-old son, a Strathclyde University student who brought his Rubik’s Cube on the trip in hopes of breaking the world record for deepest puzzle solving.
Ending her interview with the BBC, the heartbroken mother said through tears: ‘I miss them. I really, really miss them.
Shahzada Dawood and her 19-year-old son Suleman lost their lives in the Titan submersible
Christine Dawood paid tribute to her son and husband in an interview with the BBC
Five people lost their lives aboard the Titanic submersible after it suffered a ‘catastrophic implosion’ 1,600 feet off the Titanic’s bow.
British billionaire Shahzada and his son Suleman were two of five victims who died instantly when the submersible suffered a ‘catastrophic implosion’ just 1,600 feet off the Titanic’s bow, according to the US Coast Guard.
Christine revealed that she had planned to go with her husband to see the Titanic wreck on the OceanGate submarine, but their trip was canceled due to the Covid pandemic.
‘Then I stepped back and gave them space to establish [Suleman] up, because I really wanted to go,’ he said.
After contact with the vessel was lost, Christine and her 17-year-old daughter Alina waited for news at the site where Titan was last seen during the search and rescue mission.
“We had a lot of hope, that was the only thing that got us through it because we had hope,” he said.
In addition to her husband and son, three others died aboard Titan: OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, 61, British businessman Hamish Harding, 58, and Paul-Henry Nargeolet, 77, a former US diver. French Navy and experienced Titanic diver.
Shahzada Dawood, 48, (pictured with his wife Christine) was a board member of the UK-based charity Prince’s Trust. He said her enthusiasm “brought out the best” in her.
Suleman Dawood, 19, was the youngest victim of the Titan subtragedy. He is pictured with his mother, Christine.
Billionaire adventurer Hamish Harding, who lost his life aboard Titan, is shown looking out to sea before boarding the submersible.
French Navy veteran PH Nargeolet (left) Stockton Rush (right), CEO of the OceanGate Expedition, also lost their lives on Titan
Christine said those above the water tried to hold out hope, saying to themselves, “There were so many actions that the people on this submarine could do to surface…they would drop the weights, then nod would be slower.” , we were constantly searching the surface. There was that hope.
She and her daughter held out hope at first after they initially failed to return.
She said: ‘We all thought they were just going to show up, so the shock was delayed by about 10 hours or so.
“By the time they were supposed to be on the surface again, there was a moment… when they were supposed to be on the surface again and when that time passed, the real shock, not the shock, but the worry and the not-so-good stuff.” feelings started.
Despite the bleak outlook as the search progressed, he said his teenage daughter never gave up hope that her father and older brother would be rescued.
“My daughter didn’t give up hope until she called the Coast Guard when they basically told us they had found debris.”
Alina’s mother said: ‘she is such an amazing young woman, she is so self-aware.
“She believes in science, and she really believes, like you get on a plane, that science, mechanics, engineering will work.”
Christine said that at 96 hours she “really” tried hard not to show her daughter that she had given up hope.
After news broke Thursday that wreckage from the submarine had been found, the family returned to St John’s in Newfoundland, Canada, on Saturday.
On Sunday, they held a funeral oration for Shahzada and Suleman, which Christine said had “helped”.
Paying tribute to his son, he admitted that he had been a “mother’s boy” but also “loved his father.”
Asked what the family’s last words were, she told the BBC: “Actually, we just hugged and joked, because Shahzada was so excited to go down, he was like a little boy.”
“He had this childish emotion ability, they were both so excited.”
Christine and Shahzada met in college, she said, when she didn’t speak any English.
She recalled how the history buff knew more about the history of his native Germany than she did, and how he was obsessed with documentaries.
“He made us all look at David Attenborough, and the kids loved it.
‘Her enthusiasm got the best of me, so I also learned to love history. She was really able, through knowing him, to inspire and motivate others.’
Her son, she said, was practical and intellectual, and wouldn’t go anywhere without his Rubik’s Cube, which he taught himself to solve in just 12 seconds.
Suleman made a Lego Titanic out of 10,000 pieces. He applied for a world record because he wanted to solve a Rubik’s cube at the deepest point.
The OceanGate submarine Titan went under at 8 a.m. Sunday, June 18, about 400 miles southeast of St John’s, Newfoundland, according to the US Coast Guard. It lost contact at 9:45 a.m. but was not reported to the Coast Guard until 5:40 pm
While his request was turned down, they still planned to film the attempt, with Suleman saying, “I’m going to solve the Rubik’s Cube 12,000 feet under the sea on the Titanic.”
Ms Dawood said she and her daughter have vowed to try to learn how to finish the Rubik’s cube in honor of Suleman, and she intends to carry on her husband’s work.
She said: ‘He was involved in so many things, he helped so many people and I think Alina and I really want to carry on that legacy and give him that platform as his work has continued and it’s very important to my daughter as well.
‘Alina and I said that we are going to learn how to solve the Rubik’s cube. That’s going to be a challenge for us because we’re so bad at it, but we’re going to learn it.’
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