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‘Until then we had hope’: Widow relives losing husband and son on Titanic submarine

Christine Dawood has given her first in-depth interview since the tragedy struck last summer

Lydia Patrick
Saturday 13 January 2024 14:09 GMT
Teenage Titanic submersible victim's mother shares last words she shared with son

A grieving mother who lost her husband and son in theTitanic sub catastrophe has shared her heartbreaking final moments with them.

Christine Dawood, 48, spoke of the tragedy as she remembers her husband Shahzada Dawood, 48, and son Suleman Dawood, 19, who would have been turning 20 this Monday.

‘I turned to her and said: “I’m a widow now,”’ Christine said to her daughter

Last June, her adventurous family members set aboard the Titan submersible whose mission was to travel to 13,000 feet below the surface to explore the Titanic wreckage in the Atlantic Ocean.

However, just one hour and 45 minutes into the voyage, disaster struck when the submersible lost contact with the surface ship, the Polar Prince, around 900 miles east of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Four frantic days unfolded as a search and rescue mission attempted to locate the submersible.

Five people died in the catastrophic implosion on 22 June 2023

But Ms Dawood’s worst fears were confirmed when the US coast guard discovered the five crew members had died in a catastrophic implosion on 22 June 2023.

The prominent business man and his son, who was studying a business degree at Strathclyde University in Glasgow were joined by French national Paul-Henri Nargeolet and OceanGate Expeditions chief executive Stockton Rush on the underwater expedition.

“The moment we knew they’d found debris and there were no survivors, Alina and I went on deck,” she told the Daily Mail. “Until that moment we’d had hope. We took some cushions with us and just sat there looking out at the ocean. We were both crying.

“I turned to her and said: ‘I’m a widow now.’ She said: ‘Yes, and I’m a single child.’ Then we cried even more.”

Shahzada Dawood, 58, and 19-year-old son Suleman share a tender hug before their doomed deep sea trip on the Titan submersible

Ms Dawood explained how she was supposed to go on the Titanic submersible trip but after Covid delays, when her son Suleman turned 18 he was eager to join his father.

The day before the doomed trip, Ms Dawood explained she was so sea sick on the Polar Prince and had not been able to spend a lot of time with her family, but recalled her husband “glowing from excitement”.

Her son had decided to keep himself entertained by solving a Rubik’s Cube 3,700 metres below the ocean surface, the mother told the paper.

Before losing her husband of 20 years, Ms Dawood said they rarely spent any time apart, other than when he returned to his native Pakistan.

Shahzada and Suleman Dawood smile in the final photo taken before their doomed dive on board the Titan submersible

The couple shared two children – Suleman and their daughter Alina, 17.

The heartbroken mother spoke of the incomparable devastation of losing a child.

She described how she nearly lost her son giving birth to him during an emergency C-section 20 years ago, but medics saved him.

Ms Dawood, originally from Germany, described her son who would have turned 20 this Monday, as an old soul who “made everyone feel special”.

To commemorate her son’s 20th birthday she is going to blow up balloons so they rise to their glass atrium roof.

The mother remembered long walks around the Surrey Hills with Suleman and their dog Stig, a Burmese mountain dog, who he adored.

Ms Dawood said despite what happened, she would not have denied her daring son and husband the chance to go on the trip, she said if they had returned the story would have been very different.

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