Pakistani billionaire businessman Shahzada Dawood and his son are among five people aboard a small tourist submarine that has gone missing near the wreckage of the Titanic in the North Atlantic, their family said Tuesday.
Shahzada Dawood, the vice-chairman of Karachi headquartered conglomerate Engro, and his son Suleman were aboard the vessel, which is equipped with only 96 hours of oxygen supply, a family statement said.
The 21-foot tourist craft, operated by OceanGate Expeditions, began its descent on Sunday but lost contact with the surface less than two hours later, according to authorities.
As of now, contact has been lost with their submersible craft and there is limited information available,” the statement read.
“A rescue effort that is being jointly led by multiple government agencies and deep-sea companies is underway to reestablish contact with the submersible and bring them back safely,” it added.
“We are very grateful for the concern being shown by our colleagues and friends and would like to request everyone to pray for their safety,” the statement added.
Engro has an array of investments in energy, agriculture, petrochemicals and telecommunications. At the end of 2022 the firm announced a revenue of 350 billion rupees ($1.2 billion).
He was educated in the United States and Britain, the profile said.
His father Hussain Dawood is listed among Pakistan’s richest men by the domestic press.
Another passenger aboard the missing craft has been identified as British businessman Hamish Harding.
US and Canadian coast guard and navy search teams are racing against time to find a tourist submarine. Military planes, a submarine and sonar buoys have so far been used in the search for the vessel.
“Right now, our focus is getting on as much capability into the area as we can,” Rear Adm John Mauger of the US Coast Guard told a press conference.
Rear Adm Mauger noted the area in which the search was taking place was “remote”, making operations difficult. Added to this is the fact that visibility is quickly lost below the surface of the water as light cannot penetrate far.