Mom Of 19-Year-Old On Titanic Submersible Had Given Him Her Seat

Suleman Dawood brought a Rubik’s Cube to solve the puzzle “3,700 meters below sea at the Titanic.”

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Christine Dawood was originally meant to board the Titan submersible with her husband Shahzada before Covid-19 shuttered the world in 2020. When the trip to see the Titanic wreckage on the ocean floor was given the green light this year, she offered it to her 19-year-old son Suleman instead. That trip, as we now know, was doomed. Both Dawood’s son and husband were aboard the OceanGate submersible that went missing last week, and both of them tragically died along with three others somewhere at the bottom of the Atlantic.

In an interview with the BBC, the grieving wife and mother opened up about her decision to give her seat on the Titan submersible to her son after the trip was originally postponed. “I stepped back and gave them space to set [Suleman] up, because he really wanted to go,” she said. “I was really happy for them because both of them, they really wanted to do that for a very long time.”

Suleman was especially excited as he planned to do something extraordinary while on the submersible; he brought along his Rubik’s Cube to solve the puzzle under the ocean’s surface. “He said, ‘I’m going to solve the Rubik’s Cube 3,700 meters below sea at the Titanic,’” Dawood told the BBC, noting that her son was able to solve the puzzle in 12 seconds. He even applied to the Guiness Book of World Records in anticipation of solving the Rubik’s Cube at such a depth, and his father Shahzada brought a camera to document the moment.

Dawood, along with the rest of the world, watched as rescue crews struggled in vain to retrieve the lost Titan submersible for several days. She admitted to the BBC that around the 96-hour mark of estimated oxygen remaining she “lost hope” that they’d be rescued, adding that her daughter held on to hope until “the Coast Guard called to inform us that they found debris.”

Dawood and her daughter had stayed aboard the expedition vessel Polar Prince after sending her husband and son off in the submersible on June 18. The Polar Prince, the support ship used to launch the Titan submersible on its voyage, lost contact with the sub after one hour and 45 minutes, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. On June 22, officials determined had suffered a “catastrophic implosion” and everyone on board died instantly.

The Dawood family held a funeral for Suleman and Shahzada on Sunday in Saint John’s, Newfoundland. She and her daughter are planning on learning how to solve the Rubik’s Cube in her son’s honor.

“I miss them,” she told the BBC about her son and husband. “I really, really miss them.”

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