Suleman Dawood, the 19-year-old who authorities said was one of five passengers aboard the submersible that imploded near the Titanic’s wreckage last week, was fearful of making the underseas voyage, according to his aunt.
Azmeh Dawood, the sister of British-Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood who search officials said also died on the vessel, told NBC News that Suleman was “terrified” about boarding the ill-fated Titan submersible on the morning of June 18.
However, Ms. Dawood said that Suleman ultimately boarded the vessel as a Father’s Day gift for his dad — who was a massive fan of the Titanic and its history.
“I am thinking of Suleman, who is 19, in there, just perhaps gasping for breath … It’s been crippling, to be honest,” Ms. Dawood told NBC News.
The U.S. Coast Guard said Thursday that the Titan suffered a “catastrophic” implosion when the submersible’s hull was crushed by the weight of the ocean less than two hours after it began its descent toward the famous wreckage.
Search teams found debris from the vessel about 1,600 feet from the Titanic’s bow.
Authorities launched a massive, four-day search operation in the North Atlantic as they held out hope that the vessel was either stuck on the wreckage or had floated to the ocean’s surface.
Also lost aboard the Titan were British explorer Hamish Harding, Titanic researcher Paul-Henri Nargeolet and OceanGate Expeditions’ founder Stockton Rush, who ran the excursion company that launched the submersible.