Suleman Dawood’s Aunt Shares Why He Got on the Submersible Despite Being ‘Terrified’

Suleman Dawood was the youngest crew member aboard the Titanic submersible when it imploded during its journey. Suleman was just 19 years old.

Several reports have confirmed that Suleman’s seat on the Titan, the name given to the submersible, was a gift from his father, Shahzada, who was also in the sub. Now, Suleman’s aunt, Azmeh Dawood, is sharing how her teenage nephew felt about the submersible adventure and why he ultimately decided to join his father.

“I am thinking of Suleman, who is 19, in there, just perhaps gasping for breath … It’s been crippling, to be honest,” she recalled in her interview. Azmeh continued saying her brother “had a passion for the Titanic” starting at a young age, so when he purchased two tickets, one for himself and one for his son, Azmeh wasn’t surprised.

However, Azmeh admitted that her nephew was a bit more nervous about getting in the submersible. She told NBC News that Suleman “wasn’t very up for it” and was “terrified” but ultimately decided to go with his father because the first dive began on Father’s Day.

“I feel like I’ve been caught in a really bad film with a countdown, but you didn’t know what you’re counting down to,” Azmeh said. “I personally have found it kind of difficult to breathe thinking of them. I never thought I would have an issue with drawing breath. It’s been unlike any experience I’ve ever had.”

OceanGate Expeditions released a statement four days after the Titanic submersible began its first dive.

As several news reports had detailed over the last several days, on Sunday morning the submersible began its initial descent toward where the Titanic sunk. Aboard the deep-sea submersible were five people who craved adventures.

Text messages from one of the passengers, identified as British billionaire Hamish Harding, revealed that he was aware of the dangers and risks of what he was about to do. “Hey, we’re headed out tomorrow, it looks good, the weather’s been bad so they’ve been waiting for this,” the 58-year-old billionaire wrote to his friend, retired NASA astronaut Colonel Terry Virts.

Sadly, about 1 hour and 45 minutes into the first dive, the submersible lost contact with its support ship and it’s been missing ever since. Due to how small the submersible is there was only about 96 hours worth of oxygen inside.

It’s believed the oxygen inside the sub ran out early this morning. Now, OceanGate believes everyone inside has since perished.

“We now believe that our CEO Stockton Rush, Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman Dawood, Hamish Harding, and Paul-Henri Nargeolet, have sadly been lost,” OceanGate said in a statement.

“These men were true explorers who shared a distinct spirit of adventure and a deep passion for exploring and protecting the world’s oceans. Our hearts are with these five souls and every member of their families during this tragic time. We grieve the loss of life and joy they brought to everyone they knew.”

According to the Coast Guard, they believe the Titan “imploded on descent and debris fell to the seabed near the wreckage of the Titanic.” The wreckage was located only feet from the Titanic’s bow.

The statement came after it was reported that the rescue mission had discovered a “debris field” during the search. According to CNN, the debris field has since been “assessed to be the external body of the submersible.”

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the lives lost.