19-year-old Titan passenger was ‘terrified’ before trip, his aunt says

In the days before the Titan vessel went into the ocean off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, the 19-year-old university student accompanying his father on the expedition expressed hesitation about going, his aunt said in an interview Thursday.

Azmeh Dawood — the older sister of Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood — told NBC News that her nephew, Suleman, informed a relative that he “wasn’t very up for it” and felt “terrified” about the trip to explore the wreckage of the Titanic.

But the 19-year-old ended up going aboard OceanGate’s 22-foot submersible because the trip fell over Father’s Day weekend and he was eager to please his dad, who was passionate about the lore of the Titanic, according to Azmeh.

“I am thinking of Suleman, who is 19, in there, just perhaps gasping for breath … It’s been crippling, to be honest,” Azmeh said in a phone interview from the home in Amsterdam she shares with her husband, Jonathan.