Mother reveals she gave her place on doomed submersible to teenage son

Mother reveals she gave her place on doomed submersible to teenage son

19 year old Suleman Dawood was one of five people who died on the Titan vessel

The mother of the teenager who died on the Titan submersible gave up her place to her son after the original trip was postponed due to Covid.

Suleman Dawood, 19, and his father Shahzada were among five people who died when the vessel imploded on a journey to view the wreck of the Titanic.

Christine Dawood told the BBC her son had been disappointed that he was not old enough to accompany them on the original trip scheduled before the pandemic.

“It was supposed to be Shahzada and I going down,” she said. “I stepped back and gave the place to Suleman because he really wanted to go.”

Asked how she felt about the decision, she simply said: “Let’s just skip that.”

She said “both of them were so excited” and her son had taken a Rubik’s Cube with him because he wanted to break a world record.

Mrs Dawood said her son loved the famous square puzzle so much that he carried it with him everywhere and dazzled onlookers by solving it in 12 seconds.

She told the broadcaster: “He said, ‘I’m going to solve the Rubik’s Cube 3,700 metres below sea at the Titanic’.”

The family boarded the Polar Prince, the sub’s support vessel, on Father’s Day hoping for the trip of a lifetime.

Mrs Dawood and her 17-year-old daughter Alina were still on board when word came through that communications with Titan had been lost.

She and her daughter held out hope to begin with after they did not initially return.

She said: “We all thought they are just going to come up so that shock was delayed by about 10 hours or so.

“By the time they were supposed to be up again, there was a time…. when they were supposed to be up on the surface again and when that time passed, the real shock, not shock but the worry and the not so good feelings, started.

“We had loads of hope, I think that was the only thing that got us through it because we were hoping and… we talked about things that pilots can do like dropping weights, there were so many actions people on the sub can do in order to surface.

“We were constantly looking at the surface. There was so many things we would go through where we would think ‘it’s just slow right now, it’s slow right now’. But there was a lot of hope.”

She said she “lost hope” when 96 hours had passed since her husband and son boarded the submersible, which indicated they had run out of oxygen.

She revealed that is when she sent a message to her family saying she was “preparing for the worst”.

Her daughter held out a bit longer, she said, until the call with the US Coast Guard when they were informed debris had been found.

The family returned to St John’s in Newfoundland, Canada, on Saturday, and on Sunday held a funeral prayer for Shahzada and Suleman.

Mrs Dawood said she and her daughter have vowed to try to learn to finish the Rubik’s Cube in Suleman’s honour, and she intends to continue 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 continue that legacy and give him that platform when his work has continued and it’s quite important for my daughter as well.

“Alina and I said we are going learn how to solve the Rubik’s Cube. That’s going to be a challenge for us because we are really bad at it but we are going to learn it.”

Published: by Radio NewsHub