Titanic submersible victims' family mourns: 'Enormous tragedy and devastation'

Shahzada Dawood's brother speaks on catastrophic loss, 'big hole to fill.'

The family of two victims from the submersible that imploded near the Titanic described them as adventurers who “touched everyone’s lives.”

"Shahzada, my brother, he inspired in us audacity from a very young age -- he was always the kind of person who had love for the world," said Samad. "He was a guy who just wanted to go out there, experience what the world had to offer, even though he himself pushed himself to do it."

Samad Dawood, brother to Shahzada Dawood and uncle to Suleman Dawood, along with other members of his family, traveled to St. John's earlier this week when they learned Shahzada and Suleman had gone missing. While they were hoping for better news, they are now waiting to be united with Shahzada's wife and daughter who are returning to St. John's from the sea.

“This is beyond what you could ever imagine in terms of the kind of hardships and struggle that we've had. I think what we've seen is enormous tragedy and devastation and a lot of emotions.”

Samad described Shahzada as an amazing brother and a good son who spread his infectious and charismatic energy about the natural world and its wonders.

“We used to live in a small, rented house growing up. And we had this tiniest of the tiniest of condos, maybe like this big, and he converted it into an Amazon rainforest,” said Samad. “His childhood was all about astronomy and David Attenborough. He loved David Attenborough, Carl Sagan.”

Samad also mentioned how even after Shahzada’s death, he could feel the real impact that Shahzada made on people’s lives.

Samad spoke about the stories people shared with him remembering his brother, "not even generic messages of condolences, but anecdotes and snippets, 'This is how he impacted me.' 'This is what I took away.' It was real,” Samad said. “I think he's feeling happy about that.”

Samad also recalled the kind and loving character of his nephew, Suleman, and how he was, “not your average teenager,” as he shared his father’s unique love for the world and appreciation for life.

PHOTO: An undated photo shows the OceanGate Titan submersible as it begins to descent at sea.
An undated photo shows the Titan submersible, belonging to OceanGate, as it begins to descent at sea.
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images, FILE

"He was so filled with humbleness and gratitude," Samad said about his 19-year-old nephew. "I think it's sad but also amazing that... his death also brought the world together, and I thank him for it."

Samad was grateful to the international body for their work in search and rescue efforts after the Titan submarine went missing.

“I can't even begin to tell you what an incredible show of support that was. You have the best people in the world bringing the best resources and working night and day,” said Samad. “We're deeply grateful for all the support and the love and the effort that the people have made.”

Samad says that the family is still trying to process the news, and that it has been difficult for everyone.

“But, obviously, we were devastated as a family....that we couldn't get them back safe,” said Samad. “It’s going to be a big hole to fill.”

While the family is grieving, they are trying their best to live in the way that Shahzada and Suleman would have wanted them to.

“Always inclusive. Family first,” Samad said, speaking about Shahzada. “We only have one life. Let's make the most of it. Let's enjoy our relationships, and he made people dream more than what they think they could do.”

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