The aunt of 19-year-old Titan passenger Suleman Dawood says he was “terrified” before taking a trip on the doomed submarine expedition. Still, he preserved and boarded regardless to impress his father, she says.
Azmeh, the older sister of wealthy Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood, said that Suleman “wasn’t very up for it.” The elder Dawood is said to have had an obsession with the Titanic from a young age, his sister told NBC News.
RELATED: Missing Submarine Tourists Believed To Be Dead After Coast Guard Reveals ‘Catastrophic Implosion’
Aunt: Teen Didn’t Want To Go On Trip, But Wanted To Impress Dad
She added that he reportedly told a family member that he was “terrified” about joining his dad on the deep sea tour of the RMS Titanic wreckage.
However, Suleman was reportedly eager to appease his father.
The younger Dawood ultimately went on the voyage regardless because the trip fell over Father’s Day weekend, Azmeh said.
He and his father were two of the five tourists who died after going missing in the small, 22-ft. underwater OceanGate submersible. Their deaths were confirmed on Thursday, as reported by The Shade Room.
“I am thinking of Suleman, who is 19, in there, just perhaps gasping for breath … It’s been crippling, to be honest,” Azmeh told the outlet.
“Like I’ve Been Caught In A Really Bad Film,” Azmeh Says Of Nail-Biting Four-Day Search
Azmeh tearfully explained her “disbelief” to Thursday’s news and the loss of her brother and nephew.
“I feel disbelief,” Azmeh told the outlet. “It’s an unreal situation. 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.
She went on to say that she found it hard to breathe while thinking of them during the nail-biting, four-day search for her brother and nephew.
“I personally have found it kind of difficult to breathe thinking of them.”
The siblings belong to a family that owns one of the biggest businesses in Pakistan — Dawood Hercules Corp.
Horrible. The 19-year-old passenger on the Titanic submersible, Suleman Dawood, didn’t want to go on the submersible and was “terrified”—but agreed to do it for his dad on Father’s Day, according to a family member.
— No Lie with Brian Tyler Cohen (@NoLieWithBTC) June 22, 2023
U.S. Coast Guard Confirms Debris Found Was From Titan, Caused By “Catastrophic Implosion”
Officials with the U.S. Coast Guard had confirmed the five deaths of the aforementioned father-and-son duo, British businessman Hamish Harding and Stockton Rush, both of whom founded OceanGate CEO together, and Paul-Henri Nargeolet, a French diver.
On Thursday, debris from the vessel’s hull was located 1600 ft. from the bow of the Titanic on the sea floor, Rear Admiral Wayne R. Arguin Jr. said in a press conference Thursday.
Arguin added that the ship suffered a “catastrophic implosion.” However, it remains unknown what caused the implosion and when exactly it happened.
The tragic news ended a four-day search-and-rescue effort. International maritime agencies quickly came together to try and locate the missing Titan. However, they were tragically unable to do so.
The craft submerged on Sunday (June 18) for a dive to explore the RMS Titanic wreckage. It had a four-day emergency oxygen supply, which would have run out at 7:08 a.m. Thursday, according to reports.
However, it eventually lost signal in the Atlantic Ocean about 370 miles off Newfoundland, Canada, according to a statement provided by Harding’s “Explorer Club.”