I’m the widow of Titanic submarine victim – their chilling last moments would have been in darkness as vessel descended | The Sun

THE grieving widow of one of the tragic Titan submarine victims has revealed how the group spent their final moments.

Christine Dawood, the wife of one of the five passengers of the OceanGate submersible, Shahzada, described how the group spent their last moments in the darkness listening to music.

Christine, who gave up her spot on the doomed trip for her son, Suleman Dawood, 19, recalls the last time she saw him and her husband was on a floating platform in the North Atlantic before the mission.

The Titan sub vanished during a trip to the Titanic wreck after it lost communication on June 18, just an hour and 45 minutes after it submerged in the Atlantic.

Rescue crews launched a frantic search for the missing vessel that had just 96 hours of life support.

But on June 22, it was revealed that all five passengers on board were killed when the sub suffered a "catastrophic implosion."


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The victims were Brits Hamish Harding, 55, businessman Shahzada Dawood, 48, and his 19-year-old son Suleman as well as French explorer Paul-Henri Nargeolet, 77, and Stockton Rush, 61, the CEO of OceanGate, which operates the Titanic tours.

Speaking to The New York Times, the mourning mum recalled being on board the Polar Prince – the ship that carried the doomed Titan sub – alongside her daughter Alina, 17, on Father's Day before the tragedy.

The family who live in Surbiton, South West London arrived on the mothership at the harbor in St John's, Newfoundland, where they were briefed about the expedition.

"It was like a well-oiled operation — you could see they had done this before many times," Christine said.

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Passengers were advised to wear thick socks and a hat and follow a "low-residue" diet, with no coffee before the dive.

They were warned there was no toilet onboard but a bottle or a camp-style toilet behind a curtain.

The group was told to load their favorite music on their phones to play via Bluetooth- with the exception of country music, per Rush's request.

In a bid to prepare the passengers for the upcoming descent, the staff told the passengers they would be travelling in pitch black but there was a chance of seeing bioluminescent creatures.

Christine said her husband became fascinated with the Titanic after a visit to an exhibition in Singapore in 2012.

"He was like a vibrating toddler," she said.

She previously revealed her son had hoped to break a world record with his Rubik's Cube while on the expedition to the famous shipwreck.

She said Rush and his wife Wendy had traveled to London to talk about the journey, but said they were still unaware of the technical details.

She said: "That engineering side, we just had no idea. I mean, you sit in a plane without knowing how the engine works."

Christine said her husband was amazed by the stories of Nargeolet, who gave a presentation on his previous dives to the Titanic, including the time he had been "stuck down there for three days and the sub was out of communication."

She recalled her husband saying: "'Oh, my god, this is so cool.'

"He was lapping everything up. He had this big glow on his face talking about all this nerdy stuff."

On June 18, Suleman and Shahzada were all set for their adventure wearing their OceanGate flight suits, waterproof trousers, an orange waterproof jacket, steel-toed boots, life vests, and helmets.

They stopped to be weighed as required and Christine recalls her husband saying: "I’m looking quite fat. I’m boiling up already."

She remembers watching Shahzada trying to go down the stairs to get into the raft that would take them to the floating platform.

She said: "He needed an extra hand to go down the stairs in all this gear because the boots were very clunky.

"And Alina and I were like, ‘Oh, God, I hope that he doesn’t fall into the water."

The five passengers climbed into the sub and the hatch was closed.

"It was a good morning," Christine said.

Later in the day, Christine overheard someone saying that communication with Titan had been lost.

She said she went to the bridge where a team was monitoring the vessel but was assured that communication could be unreliable.

She was also told the mission would be aborted if there was any problem.

But in the afternoon she was told they did not know where Titan and its crew were.

She said: "I was also looking out on the ocean, in case I could maybe see them surfacing."

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Christine was onboard the mothership when five days later, news that debris was found 1,600ft from the Titanic wreckage.

The mangled wreckage of the Titan was unloaded from the Horizon Arctic ship ten days later.

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