One of Pakistan’s richest men and his son are among the stranded Titanic passengers, the family has revealed

One of Pakistan's richest men and his son are among the stranded Titanic passengers, the family has revealed

One of Pakistan’s richest men and his teenage son are among five people missing in a submarine that set out to visit the wreck of the Titanic before losing all communication 12,500 feet below water, it was revealed today.

Shahzada Dawood, 48, a board member of the UK-based Prince’s Trust charity, and her son Sulaiman Dawood, 19, were on board the small undersea vessel, which was taking tourists to see the famous wreck after it lost its signal in the murky depths of the Atlantic. Ocean, 370 miles off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada.

Shahzada’s distraught family, including his wife Christina and daughter Alina, now face an agonizing wait for any news of their loved ones as the clock ticks down on how many hours of oxygen are left on board.

The family said in a statement, ‘We are very grateful for the concern of our colleagues and friends and ask everyone to pray for their safety’.

The Dawood family is among the wealthiest in Pakistan, but has strong ties to the UK and Shahzada is believed to live in a Surrey mansion with his wife Christine, who is a life coach, son Sulaiman and daughter Alina.

Shahzada is vice chairman of Engro Corporation, which manufactures fertilizers, food and energy, as well as Dawood Hercules Corporation, which manufactures chemicals. He was born in Pakistan but moved to the UK where he studied law at the University of Buckingham.

The missing tourist submersible, with five aboard, including British tycoon Hamish Harding, was last ‘pinged’ when it was directly over its destination – the Titanic. Paul-Henri Nargiolet, the French world-renowned explorer, is also on board. Oceangate CEO Stockton Rush is believed to be the fifth crew member.

A desperate race against time is now underway for salvage crews from the US and Canada to find the ship, which is understood to have last ‘pinged’ when it was over the wreckage of the Titanic, before the air on board ran out. It is believed the submarine has enough oxygen to remain underwater until 12pm UK time (7am EST) on Thursday.

Shahzada Dawood, 48, (pictured with his wife Christine) is a board member of the UK-based Prince’s Trust charity, and his son Sulaiman Dawood, 19, is among the five who went missing after visiting the submarine wreckage. Titanic, it was released today

Shahzada Dawood, 48, who is currently missing, is pictured here with his wife Christine.

Among those taking part in the campaign is billionaire Hamish Harding, CEO of Action Aviation in Dubai. She excitedly posted on social media about being there on Sunday

Oceangate expedition CEO Stockton Rush (right) along with French Navy veteran PH Nargiolet (left) are believed to be taking part in the expedition.

The sub, owned and operated by OceanGate Expeditions, launched around 4 a.m. Sunday and was carrying five crew 12,500 feet underwater as part of a 195,000-pound-a-head tour of the 1912 Titanic shipwreck.

But the crew lost contact with the sub’s mothership MV Polar Prince an hour and 45 minutes into the two-hour landing and are now in a desperate search to find the vessel before it runs out of air.

But as the frantic race against time began tomorrow afternoon, rescuers admitted the sub could be stuck in the wreckage of the Titanic, which is 370 miles off Newfoundland in Canada but in US waters.

Submarine experts also fear that the vessel is a manned rescue sub, like a US Navy sub that is limited to 2,000 feet, and the only way to reach it may be using a remotely operated vehicle. They can reach a maximum depth of 20,000 feet.

‘Titan’ – the name of the Titanic submersible – lost contact with the surface for at least seven hours and appeared to be bound for its destination.

This is the last sighting of the submersible, Titan, which was launched on Sunday. Hamish Harding is seen in a photo shared by his company.

Shahzada Dawood (pictured) and his son Sulaiman Dawood were aboard a small underwater ship paying tourists to visit the famous ruins.

Shahzada Dawood (pictured) and his son Sulaiman Dawood were aboard a small underwater ship paying tourists to visit the famous ruins.

Crews are believed to have enough oxygen to stay underwater as of 12 a.m. Thursday (7 a.m. EST). Photo: Harding, who is on the sub, and his son

A photo of Oceangate’s ‘Mission 3 and Mission 4 crew’, posted online by the company ahead of the launch

It is understood that Titan communicates with Polar Prince by sending a ping every 15 minutes – the last of which was received when the submersible floated over the wreck of the Titanic at 10am EST (3am UK time) yesterday.

This is when chaos occurs. At 9 p.m. a distress call was sent to the US Coast Guard, whose Boston branch is leading an operation to conduct the deepest seabed rescue to date.

With 96 air hours remaining among the five crew members as of Thursday, Rear Admiral John W. Mager said at a press conference on Monday that the US Coast Guard was working ‘as hard as possible’ to find it while ‘lives are at risk’.

But former Coast Guardsman John Mixson told Fox News it was an ‘extremely serious and dire situation’, adding: ‘It’s hard to tell when you’ll ever lose complete contact with a situation like what actually happened until you find the ship.

‘This is not a common occurrence at all. Obviously, something happened very quickly and very tragically.’

OceanGate, whose website says customers need no previous diving experience but has ‘a few physical requirements such as being able to ride a small boat in an active ocean’, said it was getting support from government agencies and deep-sea companies.

The eight-day trip includes a two-hour dive into the wreck of the Titanic and the same on the way up. This can be eight to ten hours in total.

David Concannon, an Oceangate consultant who originally planned to go on the expedition, said officials are working to get a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) that can reach the site’s 20,000-foot depth as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, U.S. and Canadian C-130s and P-8s are being used to help search remote areas of the ocean 900 miles east of Cape Cod and 370 miles southeast of southernmost Newfoundland.

The Boston Coast Guard is currently searching for the missing vessel. The iconic shipwreck sits under 12,500 feet of water about 370 miles off Newfoundland, Canada.

OceanGate Expeditions is the only company that offers tours. Tickets cost up to £195,000

A video from an earlier mission showed the submersible’s interior underwater since early Sunday morning

Commercial vessels assisting in rescue operations also have access to sonar buoys capable of sounding at depths of 13,000 feet, the Coast Guard said.

Admiral Mager admitted that the ship could be stuck in the wreckage of the Titanic and said the rescue operation was ‘very complicated’.

‘We are working as hard as we can, bringing all resources to bear to locate the submarine,’ he added.

‘We were informed yesterday [Sunday] In the afternoon and we immediately began gathering resources to search the surface of the water, search from the air and identify any ships underwater. We have launched a massive search to trace these people.’

Admiral Mager said the Coast Guard didn’t have the ability to reach it, if it did, telling Fox News: ‘We don’t have the equipment to survey the bottom… there’s a lot of debris. [at this wreckage] So detection will be difficult.

‘At the moment we can’t afford it. Right now, we’re focused on trying to identify it.’

Former Rear Admiral Chris Parry, during a separate appearance on Sky News, echoed Mager’s concerns.

‘It is very worrying. It could be stuck in the wreckage of the Titanic, we just don’t know yet,’ Parry said.

‘The crash site is far from anywhere. The only hope is that the mothership has a standby craft that can immediately investigate what’s going on.’

OceanGate, which was founded in 2009, chartered the MV Polar Prince to take them to the dive sites.

Sailors were diving to the bottom of the ocean to survey the wreckage of the Titanic

One of the tour companies operating the expedition, Ocean Gate, shows photos of the wreckage

Harding has been to space, visited both poles, circumnavigated the globe and held three Guinness World Records

Harding excitedly posted on social media about being on the mission

Harding’s post before the dive. The boat left St. John, Newfoundland on Saturday

Harding’s stepson posted on social media that she was among the missing

The Polar Prince is believed to have departed from St. John’s, Newfoundland, on Saturday, with the submersible – made of five-inch-thick carbon fiber, capped at each end by a titanium dome – launched around 4 a.m. Sunday.

Titan subs have no way of steering themselves underwater. Instead, they rely on text messages from the mothership, telling them where to go.

The missing tourist sub is classified as a submarine, not a submarine, because it does not operate as an autonomous craft and relies instead on a support platform.

Last year, a CBS journalist was on the mothership when the sub course was shut down. It was missing for two and a half hours before it returned but no one on board was hurt.

Trip tickets cost £195,000 for the eight-day trip, during which teams pair up in small pods to dive in submarines for up to ten hours.

OceanGate advertises it as a ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’ to ‘safely dive into the wreck of the Titanic’ on a ‘journey 12,500 feet below the ocean floor’.

Wealthy tourists are told that ‘if money is no object and if you don’t think anything close’, they can ‘step outside of everyday life and discover something truly extraordinary’.

Mr Harding, the billionaire and CEO of Action Aviation in Dubai, who has been to space, visited both poles, circumnavigated the globe and held three Guinness World Records – including the longest time spent underwater – vowed not to be someone ‘especially as they grow up’ And give up their dreams’.

OceanGate confirmed its sub was missing, writing: ‘We are exploring and activating all options to bring the crew back to safety.

Multiple C-130 aircraft are now assisting in the aerial search for the ship, which has not been heard from since Sunday morning

The Polar Prince is an expedition ship used to take tourists to the wreck from Newfoundland. The sub is deployed once at sea

‘Our entire focus is on the submarine crew members and their families. We are working for the safe return of the crew members.’

The sub uses Elon Musk’s Starlink to communicate with its mothership as it is out at sea.

Ahead of the trip, London-born Harding posted on social media excitedly about her stay. Harding said this opened a ‘window’ that would allow the team to dive in.

‘A weather window has just opened and we’re going to try a dive tomorrow. We started steaming from St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada yesterday and plan to begin dive operations around 4am tomorrow,’ he wrote.

His company, Action Aviation, confirmed in a post at 4am on Sunday that he was ‘diving’.

According to OceanGate’s website, one expedition is underway and two more are planned for June next year.

More than 1,500 people died after the Titanic struck an iceberg in the early hours of April 15, 1912, on its maiden voyage from England to New York. The ruins were found in 1985, divided into two main parts.

In the early 2000s, scientists warned that the number of tourists visiting the wreck was potentially damaging it – warning that holes had opened up in the decks, walls had crumbled and that rust had spread throughout the ship. They also mention that it is a cemetery and deserves respect.

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