Tributes after former University of Buckingham student and son died on Titanic submarine
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A former University of Buckingham student and his son were declared as dead after the US Coast Guard discovered the Titan submersible imploaded.
Yesterday (22 June) the deaths of all five men on board the vessel was confirmed by American officials.
Parts of the submersible was discovered alongside debris near the wreckage of the Titanic.
Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood who went to the University of Buckingham, and his son 19-year-old, Suleman, were on board.
The other people on board were: OceanGate Expeditions founder and CEO Stockton Rush, British billionaire Hamish Harding, and renowned French diver Paul-Henri Nargeolet.
Shahzada Dawood graduated with an LLB law degree from the University of Buckingham in 1998.
The Dawood family are among the richest in Pakistan, but have strong links to the UK. Shahzada is believed to live in Surrey with wife Christine, who works as a life coach, son Suleman and daughter Alina.
Shahzada is the vice-chairman of Engro Corporation, which makes fertilisers, food and energy, as well as the Dawood Hercules Corporation, which makes chemicals. He was born in Pakistan but moved to the UK ,where he studied law at the University of Buckingham. He is a member of the Global Advisory Board for the King’s charity, The Prince's Trust, and also in the Founder's Circle of the British Asian Trust.
His family released a statement on Twitter yesterday, it reads: “It is with profound grief that we announce the passing of Shahzada and Suleman Dawood. Please continue to keep the departed souls and our family in your prayers at this difficult time of mourning.
"We are truly grateful to all those involved in the rescue operations. Their untiring efforts were a source of strength for us during this time. We are also indebted to our friends, family, colleagues, and well-wishers from all over the world who have stood by us during our hour of need. The immense love and support we receive continues to help us endure this unimaginable loss.”
After the submarine was reported as missing a University of Buckingham spokesman said: “The thoughts of Buckingham students and staff past and present are with the family of Shahzada and Suleman at this time. We hope for a safe and speedy recovery of the vessel.”
The Engro Corporation released a statement on Twitter, saying: “With heavy hearts and great sadness, we grieve the loss of our vice chairman, Shahzada Dawood, and his beloved son, Suleman Dawood.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Dawood family at this tragic time. We extend our heartfelt condolences to the family, colleagues, and all those around the world who grieve this unthinkable loss.”
The Navy used a top secret acoustic detection system to search for any sign of the vessel. The Coast Guard is still searching for the submersible. The debris was discovered 1,600 feet from the Titanic.
John Mauger of the US Coast Guard said: “The debris field here is consistent with a catastrophic implosion of the vehicle.”