Titan Submersible Tragedy: Youngest Victim, 19, 'Terrified' of Trip But Went as Father's Day Gift, Says Family
Suleman Dawod, 19, said that he “wasn’t very up for it” and felt “terrified” about the trip to explore the wreckage of the Titanic, according to his aunt Azmeh Dawood, who spoke with "Today."
The youngest passenger on the Titan had expressed his concerns and fears about going on the submersible's final, fatal voyage, according to a family member.
Suleman Dawood, 19, said that he “wasn’t very up for it” and felt “terrified” about the trip to explore the wreckage of the Titanic, according to his aunt Azmeh Dawood, who spoke with "Today."
Azmeh said on the NBC morning show that Suleman went on the trip for his father, Shahzada Dawood. The British Pakistani billionaire and agriculture scion had a passion for the lore of the Titanic, according to his sister, and the voyage coincided with Father's Day.
The fact that her brother and nephew were both on the vessel made the past week a difficult one for Azmeh.
She started sobbing as she said: “I feel disbelief. It’s an unreal situation.”
Azmeh also said she could not help but think of the men taking their last breaths.
Death came quickly for all five passengers,
The submersible suffered a catastrophic implosion, which, given the depth of the vessel almost two hours into the journey, would have killed all five men in less than a millisecond.
Those in the vessel in addition to Suleman and his father Shahzada, 48, included: Stockton Rush, 61, the chief executive of OceanGate Expeditions and pilot of the Titan's final voyage; Hamish Harding, 58, a British billionaire and explorer; and Paul-Henri Nargeolet, 77, a French maritime expert who had made more close to 40 dives to the Titanic.
Many are now criticizing Rush and OceanGate for using carbon fiber in the submersible, given the lack of testing and studies that had been done on its effectiveness at such deep levels under the sea.
All other submersibles that descend to the depths that the Titan travelled are made entirely of titanium. That includes the one designed by famed "Titanic" director James Cameron, which is capable of reaching the floor of the Mariana Trench some 36,000 feet beneath the surface of the Pacific Ocean.
"Here we are again and at the same place," Cameron said in an interview on Friday. "Now there's one wreck lying next to the other wreck."
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