Shahzada Dawood, a British-Pakistani businessman who was one of five people aboard a submarine that traveled down to view the Titanic, was believed to have died when the ship experienced what authorities say during its descent to the ocean floor. “catastrophic implosion”. He was 48. His 19-year-old son, Suleman, who was with him on the submarine Titan, is also believed to have died.
“On behalf of the United States Coast Guard and the entire United Command, I extend my deepest condolences to the families,” Vice Admiral John W. Mauger said at a news conference Thursday.
Mr. Dawood was the vice chairman of Engro Corporation, a business conglomerate headquartered in Pakistan in the southern port city of Karachi involved in agriculture, energy and telecommunications. His family is known as one of the wealthiest business families in the country. Mr Dawood’s work has focused on renewable energy and technology, according to a statement from his family.
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Dawood studied law at Buckingham University in the UK and later earned a master’s degree in global textile marketing from Philadelphia University, which is now part of Thomas Jefferson University. In 2012, he was selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.
His son, Suleman, studied business at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow and had just completed his first year, a spokesman for the school said. Like his father, he was a fan of science fiction books and also enjoyed solving Rubik’s Cubes and playing volleyball, according to a statement from Engro.
“The relationship between Shahzada and Suleman was a sight to behold; they were each other’s biggest supporters and shared a shared passion for adventure and exploration of all that the world had to offer them,” said a statement from the Dawood family. “This relentless curiosity laid the foundation for a close friendship between the two.”
The couple’s long-standing passion for science and discovery led them, according to friends and family, to embark on an expedition to the wreck of the Titanic.
“Travelling, science are part of his DNA,” says Ahsen Uddin Syed, a friend of the elderly Mr. Dawood who used to work with him at the Engro Corporation. “He’s an explorer.”
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A Star Trek and Star Wars enthusiast, Dawood also loved the outdoors and often traveled to faraway places to share photos of his adventures, Mr. Sayed said.
Are Instagram profile is like a memory book of his love of travel and nature; it’s covered in photos of birds, flowers, and landscapes, including a sunset in the Kalahari Desert, the ice cap in Greenland, penguins in the Shetlands, and a little bird in London with the caption “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.”
“Do Adventures Never End?” Mr Dawood wrote in a Facebook post from a trip to Iceland last year, quoting Bilbo Baggins from “The Fellowship of the Ring”. “I don’t think so. Someone else always has to continue the story.”
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Khalid Mansoor, another former colleague of Mr. Dawood, said that when the two worked together, Mr. Dawood was a passionate environmental advocate. He was also a trustee at the SETI Institute, an organization dedicated to the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.
In his role at Engro, Mr. Dawood according to the company statement for “a culture of learning, sustainability and diversity”. He was also involved in his family’s charitable projects, including the Engro Foundation, which supports smallholder farmers, and the Dawood Foundation, an education-focused nonprofit.
“The absence of Shahzada and Suleman will be deeply felt by all who had the privilege of knowing this couple,” his family’s statement said.
Mr. Dawood is survived by a daughter, Alina, and his wife, Christine.
Salman Masood contributed reporting.