Family member of father and son on missing Titanic sub speaks out
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Featured Image Credit: Facebook / OceanGate
A family member of two of the passengers on board the missing Titan submarine has spoken out as the search continues.
Shahzada Dawood, 48, and his son Suleman, 19, were on board the vessel which disappeared on Sunday (18 June) after it set off to explore the wreck of the Titanic.
The pair were among four passengers who paid $250,000 (£196,600) to go on the excursion operated by the US-based company OceanGate, with the CEO of the company, Stockton Rush, also on board.
Ships and planes from the US, Canada and France have all joined in the rescue effort, which is being overseen by Rear Admiral John Mauger, first district commander of the US coast guard.
Mauger has said rescuers are 'doing everything [they] can do' to find the vessel, saying: “We’re making the best use of every moment of that time. What we’re focused on is finding those five people."
Sabrina Dawood, sister to Shahzada and aunt to Suleman, has now spoken out and expressed how grateful the family is for the search efforts.
Speaking to Sky News, she said: "We are deeply grateful for the efforts of news agencies during this difficult time; your constant coverage of the missing Titan submersible is undoubtedly playing a large role in the world's ability to access relevant updates on the matter.
"At this time, the Dawood family's sole focus is the rescue of our beloved Shahzada and Suleman Dawood and we are unable to address any questions or comments at the moment.
"We trust that the family will be granted privacy as we deal with this crisis.
"May Shahzada and Suleman return to us safe and sound.
"We are sure they would be as moved as we are by the support of the global community during this period of difficulty."
One of the other people on board the vessel has been identified as British businessman and explorer Hamish Harding, who holds a number of Guinness World Records, including one for the longest time spent traversing the deepest part of the ocean on a single dive.
The final passenger is French maritime expert Paul-Henri Nargeolet, who has taken part in more than 35 dives to the Titanic wreck site in the Atlantic.