A grieving mother who lost her husband and son in theTitanic sub catastrophe has shared her heartbreaking final moments with them.
However, just one hour and 45 minutes into the voyage, disaster struck when the submersible lost contact with the surface ship, the Polar Prince, around 900 miles east of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
Four frantic days unfolded as a search and rescue mission attempted to locate the submersible.
But Ms Dawood’s worst fears were confirmed when the US coast guard discovered the five crew members had died in a catastrophic implosion on 22 June 2023.
The prominent business man and his son, who was studying a business degree at Strathclyde University in Glasgow were joined by French national Paul-Henri Nargeolet and OceanGate Expeditions chief executive Stockton Rush on the underwater expedition.
“The moment we knew they’d found debris and there were no survivors, Alina and I went on deck,” she told the Daily Mail. “Until that moment we’d had hope. We took some cushions with us and just sat there looking out at the ocean. We were both crying.
“I turned to her and said: ‘I’m a widow now.’ She said: ‘Yes, and I’m a single child.’ Then we cried even more.”
Ms Dawood explained how she was supposed to go on the Titanic submersible trip but after Covid delays, when her son Suleman turned 18 he was eager to join his father.
The day before the doomed trip, Ms Dawood explained she was so sea sick on the Polar Prince and had not been able to spend a lot of time with her family, but recalled her husband “glowing from excitement”.
Her son had decided to keep himself entertained by solving a Rubik’s Cube 3,700 metres below the ocean surface, the mother told the paper.
Before losing her husband of 20 years, Ms Dawood said they rarely spent any time apart, other than when he returned to his native Pakistan.
The couple shared two children – Suleman and their daughter Alina, 17.
The heartbroken mother spoke of the incomparable devastation of losing a child.
She described how she nearly lost her son giving birth to him during an emergency C-section 20 years ago, but medics saved him.
Ms Dawood, originally from Germany, described her son who would have turned 20 this Monday, as an old soul who “made everyone feel special”.
To commemorate her son’s 20th birthday she is going to blow up balloons so they rise to their glass atrium roof.
The mother remembered long walks around the Surrey Hills with Suleman and their dog Stig, a Burmese mountain dog, who he adored.
Ms Dawood said despite what happened, she would not have denied her daring son and husband the chance to go on the trip, she said if they had returned the story would have been very different.