Mom of Teen on Sub Says He'd Planned on Breaking a Record

Christine Dawood says Suleman Dawood, 19, was going to solve Rubik's Cube deep under the surface
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2023 7:30 AM CDT
Mom of Teen on Doomed Sub: I Was Supposed to Go, Not Him
This undated photo shows Suleman Dawood.   (Engro Corporation Limited via AP)

Christine and Alina Dawood, the wife and daughter of Pakistani billionaire Shahzada Dawood, who died on the Titan submersible along with his 19-year-old son, Suleman, weren't far from their loved ones when they perished last week in the vessel's "catastrophic implosion." The grieving mom tells the BBC that she and her daughter boarded the Polar Prince support ship with the two doomed men, and that the family hugged and joked before the Titan made its descent to the bottom of the ocean. "I was really happy for them because both of them, they really wanted to do that for a very long time," she says.

Dawood notes that her son even brought a Rubik's Cube with him into the submersible, in the hopes of making his way into the Guinness World Records. "He said, 'I'm going to solve the Rubik's Cube 3,700 meters below [the] sea at the Titanic,'" she recalls him saying, noting that her husband had brought along a camera so he could record the event. Dawood says she'd originally been the one who was supposed to go see the Titanic wreck with her husband, but that trip was nixed because of the pandemic. When it came time to reschedule, she decided to give up her seat to Suleman, "because he really wanted to go."

Dawood says she didn't know what to think when those on the support ship first lost contact with the submersible, and that "it just went downhill from there." By the 96-hour mark, she says she knew it was over and started messaging family members to say: "I'm preparing for the worst." Her daughter, meanwhile, "didn't lose hope until the call with [the] Coast Guard" informed them that debris from the imploded sub had been found.

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Insider notes that Christine Dawood's remarks differ in tone from those made by Suleman Dawood's aunt, who said her nephew had been "terrified" to go on the sub, and that he only went so his father wouldn't be disappointed on Father's Day weekend. In a statement to People, the men's family says their bond "was a joy to behold," and that "they were each other's greatest supporters and cherished a shared passion for adventure and exploration of all the world had to offer them." (Read more Titanic stories.)

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