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King Charles requests personal updates on Titanic Sub due to connection with person onboard

Five people are onboard the missing Titanic submersible  

King Charles looking concerned© Getty
Danielle Stacey
Online Royal CorrespondentLondon
Updated: June 21, 2023
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King Charles has said his "thoughts and prayers" are with the family of a British businessman, who is among the five people on board the missing Titanic submersible.

Contact with the submarine was lost an hour and 45 minutes into its dive in the mid-Atlantic on Sunday as it embarked on a dive to observe the wreckage of Titanic, which sank on its maiden voyage after hitting an iceberg in 1912.

Search teams are currently in a race against time to find OceanGate's Titan submersible which usually dives with a 96-hour emergency supply of oxygen. 

Among the five people on board is Shahzada Dawood, 48, and his 19-year-old son, Sulaiman. Mr Dawood is a longtime supporter of the Prince's Trust International and the British Asian Trust.

MORE:  GMB guest who went on Titanic submarine 'not optimistic' about missing vessel - details

US Coast Guard Captain Jamie Frederick© Getty
US Coast Guard Captain Jamie Frederick speaks during a press conference about the search efforts for the missing Titanic sub

It's understood that the King has been asked to be kept fully up to date on the situation, and his thoughts and prayers are with the Dawood family and all those involved in this incident and the attempted recovery operations.

Will Straw, Chief Executive Officer of Prince's Trust International, said: "Prince's Trust International has a longstanding relationship with Shahzada Dawood and his family. We are shocked by this awful news, praying for a rescue and sending our thoughts to his family during this deeply challenging time."

Hamish Harding is a British businessman and explorer© Victoria Sirakova
Hamish Harding is a British businessman and explorer

Mr Dawood and his son are on board the vessel with British billionaire Hamish Harding, French explorer Paul-Henri Nargeolet and Stockton Rush, who is the Chief Executive Officer of OceanGate, the company behind the tour which provides crewed submersibles for industry, research and exploration. The eight-day mission run by OceanGate costs $250,000 per person.

WATCH: The OceanGate expedition to the Titanic wreck

The White House's spokesperson John Kirby has said that US President Joe Biden is "watching events closely". An official spokesman for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: "The families involved will be deeply concerned and his thoughts are with them and the Foreign Office is providing support," adding that the Prime Minister "clearly wants to pass on his thanks to those that are responding" to the situation.

The UK Foreign Office also confirmed it is in contact with the families of British citizens Hamish Harding and Shahzada Dawood and his son Sulaiman Dawood.

The tourist submersible vessel has gone missing while on a dive to observe the Titanic wreckage © Action Press/Shutterstock
The tourist submersible vessel has gone missing while on a dive to observe the Titanic wreckage

In a statement, the Foreign Office said: "We are in contact with the families of three British nationals following a submersible going missing off the coast of North America and are in touch with the local authorities."

The UK's foreign secretary James Cleverly appeared at a joint press conference with his US counterpart, Antony Blinken, where he said: "We wish them all the luck, and of course we hope that they will be swiftly found and returned to their loved ones."

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