A friend of Pakistani billionaire Shahzada Dawood, one of the passengers who died during the recent Titanic submersible incident, recently declared that Dawood would have never knowingly put his family at risk.
Remembering Dawood: Richard Hawkes, chief executive of British Asian Trust, told BBC that the late 48-year-old billionaire loved his family, adding that he could never imagine Dawood doing anything that “he thought possibly could have had the devastating consequences that we’ve seen this week.”
“The children absolutely loved him and they did lots of interesting things together. It’s just an absolute tragedy that this one has ended up in this way,” Hawkes said about his friend, whom he described as a “genuinely lovely man.”
Hawkes recalled the time he had spent with Dawood, telling BBC that they would often have engaging, insightful conversations and sometimes took long walks together.
What happened: On June 18, the Titan submersible, operated by OceanGate Expeditions, lost contact about an hour and 45 minutes into its expedition to explore the wreckage of the Titanic in the Atlantic Ocean.
All five passengers, including Dawood; his son Sulaiman Dawood, 19; businessman Hamish Harding, 58; French diver Paul-Henri Nargeolet, 77; and OceanGate’s 61-year-old CEO Stockton Rush are believed to be dead.
The conclusion, announced by OceanGate and the U.S. Coast Guard on Thursday, came after search authorities found debris from the submersible’s external body on the ocean floor, about 1,600 feet from the bow of the Titanic.
The latest findings suggested that the submersible suffered a “catastrophic implosion.” Due to water pressure, the force on the submersible’s surface while deep in the ocean caused it to collapse inwards.
Investigation continues: Capt. Jason Neubauer, the U.S. Coast Guard’s chief investigator, announced on Sunday that they are now concentrating on collecting debris and investigating voice recordings and data from the Polar Prince, the ship that was used to launch the Titan.