Hamish Harding, a British businessman who collaborated with the Indian government to reintroduce eight wild cheetahs from Namibia to India, is among five people who went missing in the Atlantic Ocean aboard a tourist submersible on a mission to view the wreckage of the iconic ocean liner, the Titanic.
Shahzada Dawood and Son Also on the Sub
British-Pakistani billionaire businessman Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman were also on the submersible, according to a report by the BBC.
Contact Lost with Sub During Dive
Contact with the small submersible was lost about an hour and 45 minutes into its dive in the mid-Atlantic on Sunday.
OceanGate Expeditions Confirms Submarine Loss
OceanGate Expeditions, a company offering eight-day missions to see the Titanic debris for $250,000 per person, confirmed that its submarine was lost at sea with crew members on board. The company’s chief executive, Stockton Rush, who previously described the craft as “rock solid,” is believed to be on board as well.
Efforts to Bring the Crew Back Safely
The company stated that it is “exploring and mobilizing all options to bring the crew back safely.” French explorer Paul-Henry Nargeolet is also believed to be on board, as mentioned in a Facebook post by Hamish Harding before the dive.
Harding’s Previous Collaborations and Adventures
Hamish Harding has been involved in various exploratory projects worldwide. He has collaborated with the Indian government on the reintroduction of eight wild cheetahs from Namibia to India and worked on a project to launch a regular business jet service to the Antarctic with a company called White Desert.
Titanic Wreckage Dive and Recent Announcement
Harding announced on social media that a ship had departed from St. John’s in Newfoundland, Canada, heading to the Titanic wreck. He and the crew planned to start diving operations in the submersible early Sunday morning. Harding expressed pride in being part of the mission, stating that it is likely to be the first and only manned mission to the Titanic in 2023 due to challenging winter conditions.
Missing Status and Reactions
Hamish Harding’s stepson Brian Szasz posted on Facebook that he had gone missing on the submarine, although the post has since been deleted. Patrick Woodhead, the founder of British tour operator White Desert Antarctica, praised Harding as an incredible aviation explorer and advocate for discovering new pathways to improve the world. The UK’s Foreign Office confirmed their contact with the family and the ongoing search for the missing submarine off the coast of North America.
Statement from the Dawood Family
The Dawood family, residing in Surbiton, southwest London, released a statement confirming that Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman were on a journey to visit the remnants of the Titanic. The family expressed gratitude for the concern shown by colleagues and friends and requested prayers for the safe return of their family members. Shahzada Dawood, a trustee of the Seti Institute and vice chairman of Dawood Hercules Corporation, lives in the UK with his wife, Christine, and their children Suleman and Alina.
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