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23rd Jun 2023

Teenage Titanic sub victim was ‘terrified’ before trip and only went to please his father

Kat O'Connor

“He had a sense that this was not okay.”

Suleman Dawood, the 19-year-old killed in the Titan submarine tragedy, was “terrified” before embarking on the trip, according to a relative.

In an interview with NBC News, Azmeh Dawood – Suleman’s aunt – revealed that the teenager told another relative of his that he “wasn’t very up for” the journey to explore the Titanic wreckage.

“He had a sense that this was not okay,” Azmeh explained. “He was not very comfortable about doing it.”

However, the 19-year-old wound up a passenger on the Titan submersible because the trip was happening over Father’s Day weekend and he was eager to please his dad, British Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood.

Said to have been fascinated with the Titanic disaster from a young age, Shahzada was also killed in the Titan submarine tragedy, with his sister and Suleman’s aunt telling NBC News that their family is in “disbelief” following the deaths.

“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,” Azmeh shared.

“I personally have found it kind of difficult to breathe thinking of them… It’s been unlike any experience I’ve ever had.”

All five passengers onboard the Titan were confirmed dead on Thursday, 22 June. The other passengers on the submersible were British billionaire Hamish Harding, French diver Paul-Henri Nargeolet and OceanGate founder Stockton Rush.

The OceanGate-owned vessel lost communication with tour operators less than two hours into its dive on Sunday (18 June) while about 435 miles south of St John’s in Newfoundland. This was during a voyage to the Titanic shipwreck off the coast of Canada.

At a press conference on Thursday, the US Coast Guard said search teams had located debris from the Titan. It stated that this discovery was consistent with “the catastrophic loss” of the submersible’s pressure chamber.

The coast guard also said that the bodies of the victims may never be found.

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