OceanGate Submersible Vanishes On Expedition To Titanic Wreckage

19-Year-Old Submersible Tragedy Victim Reportedly Took Mom's Place For Voyage

Home / News / 19-Year-Old Submersible Tragedy Victim Reportedly Took Mom's Place For Voyage

By Afouda Bamidele on June 27, 2023 at 5:00 PM EDT

Christine Dawood, the mother of the 19-year-old university student aboard the doomed Titan submersible, is opening up on how the teenager took her place to go on the deep-sea expedition. Before the youngster's death, he had completed his first year as a business student at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. 

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Mother Of 19-Year-Old Opens Up Following Submersible Tragedy. 

Due to debris discovered on the ocean floor by the international search-and-rescue team, authorities and Oceangate — the company behind the Titan voyage — confirmed the submersible had a catastrophic implosion on Thursday. 

Soon after, many worldwide, including the families of the deceased on board, went on record to share their opinion regarding the unfortunate event. Mrs. Dawood, whose husband and son, Shazada and Suleman Dawood, were killed alongside three other men on the OceanGate vessel, told the BBC that she had intended to join her husband on the submersible before their plans were fluoride by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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She explained that she "stepped back" to allow her son to go on the voyage "because he wanted to go." The heartbroken widow told the news outlet that her husband, a scion of one of Pakistan's wealthiest business families, had "a childlike excitement" about the world around him.

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OceanGate Reveals Five 'Titan' Passengers Are No Longer Alive: 'They 'Have Sadly Been Lost'
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Her teenage son, with similar character traits, went as far as to bring a Rubik's Cube with him on the submersible, intending to solve it, prompting Dawood to emotionally say, "I miss them, I miss them."

In her first interview, the grief-stricken mother spoke of the day before the submersible went into the ocean off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, on Father's Day.

She divulged that she and her daughter boarded the Polar Prince, the sub's support vessel, to accompany Suleman and Shahzada out to the launch point on the open ocean. She recalled the family saying a cheery goodbye, hugging and cracking jokes before the submersible was sealed. In Dawood's words:

"I was really happy for them because both of them, they really wanted to do that for a very long time."

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'The Simpsons' Writer Mike Reiss Remarked The Doomed Titanic Submersible

As the search for the submersible intensified before the tragedy, Mike Reiss shared his outlook on the situation. Unlike others, his opinions came from personal experiences— He embarked on three separate dives with OceanGate Expeditions. 

In an interview with BBC Breakfast on June 19, the film writer disclosed his lack of optimism regarding the outcome and shed light on the daunting challenges to be faced by the rescue teams. The writer stated:

"I know the logistics of it, and I know how vast the ocean is and how very tiny this craft is. If it's down at the bottom, I don't know how anyone is going to be able to access it, much less bring it back up."

Titanic Wreckage Lost Tourist Submersible 'Banging' Giving Hope
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Reflecting on his experiences, Reiss indicated a disturbing pattern of losing communication during the underwater expeditions. He admitted that the idea of potentially never resurfacing would linger throughout the journeys. "I got on the sub, and at the back of my mind was 'well, I may never get off this thing,' that's always with you," Reiss added.

Despite acknowledging the impressive design of the Titan submarine, the "Queer Duck" creator highlighted the experimental nature of the technology involved. While emphasizing that the vessel itself is not flawed, he noted, "It's just that this is all new technology, and they're learning it as they go along."

James Cameron Highlights Similarity Between The Submersible Tragedy & Titanic Sinking

Likewise, James Cameron, the director behind the 1997 film classic "Titanic" had a thing or two to say about the OceanGate disaster. Per The Blast, Cameron spoke to ABC News about the tragedy and noted the eerie similarities between the current catastrophe and the actual Titanic event. He said:

"I'm struck by the similarity of the Titanic disaster itself, where the captain was repeatedly warned about ice ahead of his ship, and yet he steamed at full speed into an ice field on a moonless night—and many people died as a result."

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The "Avatar" director also mentioned that questions were raised among the deep-sea exploration community regarding the submersible. Cameron added, "For a similar tragedy, where warnings went unheeded, to take place at the same site with all the diving going on worldwide, I think it's just astonishing. It's quite surreal."

During the interview, the director expressed sad emotions over the presumed death of his friend, French explorer Paul-Henri Nargeolet. He said, "It's a tiny community. For him to have died tragically in this way is almost impossible for me to process."

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