19-year-old who died on Titan brought Rubik’s cube with him in world record bid
Christine Dawood told the BBC her son Suleman was “so excited” to try and solve the puzzle 3,700 metres below the ocean surface.
Meanwhile his father Shahzada, a businessman, was “so excited he was like a child” at the prospect of seeing the Titanic wreckage.
The 19-year-old had applied to Guinness World Records and his father, who also died, had brought a camera with him to capture the moment.
Mrs Dawood said her son loved the famous square puzzle so much that he carried it with him everywhere and dazzled onlookers by solving it in 12 just seconds.
She told the broadcaster: “He said, ‘I’m going to solve the Rubik’s Cube 3,700 meters below sea at the Titanic.”
The family boarded the Polar Prince on Father’s Day hoping for the trip of a lifetime.
Mrs Dawood and her 17-year-old daughter Alina were on board the Polar Prince, the sub’s support vessel, when word came through that communications with Titan had been lost.
She and her daughter held out hope to begin with after being they did not initially return.
She said: “We all thought they are just going to come up so that shock was delayed by about 10 hours or so.
“By the time they were supposed to be up again, there was a time…. when they were supposed to be up on the surface again and when that time passed the real shock, not shock but the worry and the not so good feelings started.
“We had loads of hope, I think that was the only thing that got us through it because we were hoping and… we talked about things that pilots can do like dropping weights, there were so many actions people on the sub can do in order to surface.
“We were constantly looking at the surface. There was so many things we would go through where we would think ‘it’s just slow right now, it’s slow right now’. But there was a lot of hope.”
She said she “lost hope” when 96 hours had passed since her husband and son boarded the submersible, which indicated they had run out of oxygen.
She revealed that’s when she sent a message to her family saying she was ‘preparing for the worst.’
Her daughter held out a bit longer, she said, until the call with the US Coast Guard where they were informed debris had been found.
The family returned to St John’s in Newfoundland, Canada on Saturday, and on Sunday held a funeral prayer for Shahzada and Suleman.
Mrs Dawood said she and her daughter have vowed to try to learn to finish the Rubik’s Cube in Suleman’s honour, and she intends to continue her husband’s work.
She said: “He was involved in so many things, he helped so many people and I think Alina and I really want to continue that legacy and give him that platform when his work has continued and it’s quite important for my daughter as well.
“Alina and I said we are going learn how to solve the Rubik’s cube. That’s going to be a challenge for us because we are really bad at it but we are going to learn it.”