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Inside Titanic Sub Tragedy Victims Shahzada and Suleman Dawood’s Father-Son Bond

June 23, 2023

The family of Suleman Dawood and his dad Shahzada Dawood, two of the five victims of the Titan submersible tragedy, is sharing insight into the father-son duo’s close relationship.

Their loved ones paid tribute to the 48-year-old businessman and his 19-year-old son, a business student at Strathclyde University in Glasgow, Scotland in a June 23 obituary. The tribute was published on Glasgow Live a day after the U.S. Coast Guard announced that their five-day search operation had turned up debris consistent with “a catastrophic implosion” of the Titan submersible.

Pieces of the craft’s pressure chamber, including the nose cone and the front-end bell of the pressure hull, were found more than two miles beneath the surface of the ocean off the coast of Newfoundland, and about 1,600 feet away from the bow of the famous Titanic shipwreck—the explorers’ destination.

The Dawood family’s obituary read, “With profound sorrow, we mourn the tragic loss of Shahzada and his beloved son, Suleman, who had embarked on a journey to visit the remnants of the legendary Titanic in the depths of the Atlantic Ocean.”

The tribute continued, “In this unfathomable tragedy, we try to find solace in the enduring legacy of humility and humanity that they have left behind and find comfort in the belief that they passed on to the next leg of their spiritual journey hand-in-hand, father and son.”

The family said that “the relationship between Shahzada and Suleman was a joy to behold,” adding, “They were each other’s greatest supporters and cherished a shared passion for adventure and exploration of all the world had to offer them.”

That wanderlust was just one aspect of the duo’s close relationship. “This unwavering curiosity built the foundation for a close friendship between the two,”  the obituary continued, “and inspired those around them to develop a similar passion for learning. “By being as they were with one another, they embodied valuable lessons on the pursuit of knowledge, exploration of the unknown, and bonds of familial friendship. Family values are a guiding beacon for the Dawood family and Shahzada always strived to emulate these, teaching his children to do the same.”

Despite that eagerness to explore, Suleman, who lived in London with his dad, mom Christine and sister Alina, was apparently reluctant to embark on the journey. Shahzada’s sister Azmeh Dawood told NBC News June 22 that the teen had informed a relative that he “wasn’t very up for” the expedition and felt “terrified” about it. She added that he ended up going because the trip fell over Father’s Day weekend and he was eager to please his dad, who was “absolutely obsessed” with the Titanic from a young age.

The passengers of the Titan each paid $250,000 to OceanGate Expeditions for a place on the Titanic expedition. The Dawoods are among the wealthiest business families in Pakistan, where Shahzada was born. He served as vice chairman of Engro Corporation, headquartered in Karachi and was also a scion of his family’s own business empire, Dawood Hercules Corp., NBC News reported.

“Shahzada was focused on extending the entrepreneurial legacy of the family with the setup of businesses in renewable energy and technology domains,” the family’s obituary read, “with an ardent belief that these would engender prosperity for thousands of Pakistani families.”

Suleman had planned to follow in his dad’s footsteps, according to the family. “His excitement to join Engro after he graduated could not be contained, culminating in an internship in the summer of 2022 to learn more about the organization that his family was such a passionate believer in,” the obituary read. “Suleman is remembered fondly by Engro colleagues as a tall young man walking around with his beloved Rubik’s cube and a smile on his face.”

In addition to Shahzada and Suleman, the other victims of the tragedy were billionaire and explorer Hamish Harding, 58, French oceanographer Paul-Henri Nargeolet, 77, and the submersible’s pilot, Stockton Rush, the 61-year-old CEO of OceanGate Expeditions. See more information about them below:

Shahzada Dawood & Son Suleman Dawood

On June 18, 2023, a deep-sea submersible Titan, operated by the U.S.-based company OceanGate Expeditions and carrying five people on a voyage to the wreck of the Titanic, was declared missing. Following a five-day search, the U.S. Coast Guard announced at a June 22 press conference that the vessel suffered a “catastrophic implosion” that killed all five passengers on board.

Pakistani-born businessman Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son Suleman Dawood, both British citizens, were also among the victims.

Their family is one of the wealthiest in Pakistan, with Shahzada Dawood serving as the vice chairman of Engro Corporation, per The New York Times. His son was studying at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland.

Shahzada’s sister Azmeh Dawood told NBC News that Suleman had expressed reluctance about going on the voyage, informing a relative that he “wasn’t very up for it” and felt “terrified” about the trip to explore the wreckage of the Titanic, but ultimately went to please his father, a Titanic fan, for Father’s Day.

The Dawood Foundation mourned their deaths in a statement to the website, saying, “It is with profound grief that we announce the passing of Shahzada and Suleman Dawood. Our beloved sons were aboard OceanGagte’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.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stockton Rush

OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush was the pilot of the Titan. The entrepreneur—who founded the research company in 2009 in Everett, Wash.—had long been interested in exploration. Rush, 61, previously said he dreamed of becoming the first person on Mars and once said that he’d “like to be remembered as an innovator.”

In addition to leading voyages to see the remnants of the Titanic, Rush had another surprising connection to the historic 1912 event: His wife Wendy Rush is the great-great-granddaughter of a couple who died on the Titanic, Ida and Isidor Straus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hamish Harding

British billionaire Hamish Harding confirmed he was a part of the mission in a June 17 Instagram post, a day before the submersible went into the water and disappeared.

“I am proud to finally announce that I joined @oceangateexped for their RMS TITANIC Mission as a mission specialist on the sub going down to the Titanic,” he wrote. “Due to the worst winter in Newfoundland in 40 years, this mission is likely to be the first and only manned mission to the Titanic in 2023. A weather window has just opened up and we are going to attempt a dive tomorrow.”

Harding—the chairman of aircraft company Action Aviation—said the group had started steaming from St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada and was planning to start dive operations around 4 a.m. on June 18. The 58-year-old added, “Until then we have a lot of preparations and briefings to do.”

His past explorations included traveling to the deepest part of the ocean in the Mariana Trench, telling Gulf News in 2021, “It was an incredibly hostile environment. To travel to parts of the Challenger Deep where no human had ever been before was truly remarkable.”

The Dubai-based businessman also circumnavigated the Earth by plane with the One More Orbit project and, last year, took a trip to space on Amazon founder Jeff Bezos‘ Blue Origin New Shepard rocket. Harding shared his love for adventure with his son Giles, described as a “teen explorer” on his Instagram.

Paul-Henri Nargeolet

As for the fifth member, a representative for French explorer Paul-Henri Nargeolet told the New York Times that he was a passenger on the Titan, with Harding also referencing him on Instagram as a member of the team.

The Times described him as a maritime expert who was previously part of the French Navy. The 71-year-old was a bonafide Titanic specialist and has traveled to the wreckage 35 times before. Nargeolet served as the director of RMS Titanic, Inc., a company that researches, salvages and displays artifacts from the famed ship, per the outlet.

Alongside fellow passenger Hamish Harding, he was a member of The Explorers Club, founded in 1904.

The Titan

As Harding noted in his post, the submersible—named Titan—was a part of an OceanGate Expeditions tour that explores the wreckage of the RMS Titanic, which infamously sank in 1912.

The company expressed its sympathies to the families of the victims. “These men were true explorers who shared a distinct spirit of adventure, and a deep passion for exploring and protecting the world’s oceans,” OceanGate said in a statement. “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.”

 

Source: ENews

#Titan  #OceanGate  #Shazada Dawood  #Suleman Dawood               #Stockton Rush  #Hamish Harding

#Paul-Henri Nargeolet

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