Adele Pauses Concert to Survey Audience on Titanic Sub After Tragedy

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Eerie Connection Between Titanic Sub & Titanic Disaster Revealed

Like millions of other people, Adele was also captivated by the Titan submersible tragedy this week—so much that she stopped her concert momentarily to talk about it.

On June 22, U.S. authorities confirmed that OceanGate Expeditions’ Titan tourist underwater craft, carrying five people, was destroyed in a “catastrophic implosion” during its voyage to reach the famous wreckage of the Titanic ship. On June 23, Adele spoke about the disaster onstage at her residency show at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, asking her audience of more than 4,000 people, “How crazy was that submersible story?”

As seen in a TikTok video shared by a fan, she answered her own question. “Absolutely crazy,” she said. “It’s so tragic.”

The U.S. Coast Guard’s confirmation of the destruction of the submersible followed a five-day search that was covered extensively by news outlets around the world and which dominated social media discourse and stirred much debate.

“I have been debating with my friends on our group chat. Everyone’s like, ‘I would never do that.’ But that’s a lie, because a lot of people will do that,” Adele told her audience, before asking, “Before this week, how many people, if they could, would go down to the very, very bottom of the ocean to see the Titanic? Raise your hands.”

Scores of people signaled affirmatively and cheered. “I knew it! Turn the lights on a minute so I can see the balconies,” Adele said. “That’s a very good proportion.”

Karwai Tang/WireImage

She then asked how many wouldn’t opt to embark on such a voyage, drawing more cheers as well as a raised hand from her piano player.

Adele then asked her audience how many people would choose to travel to space if they were able to and if it didn’t cost them any money. The reactions were mixed.

“I wouldn’t do it either but only because I’m a bit of a p—y. I’m a scaredy cat of everything,” she said. “I wouldn’t even go on roller coasters. But also, I just genuinely don’t have an interest in the deep sea or space.”

The five passengers who died in the Titanic sub implosion were U.K. university student Suleman Dawood, 19, his dad and business Shahzada Dawood, plus billionaire and explorer Hamish Harding, 58, French oceanographer Paul-Henri Nargeolet, 77, and the submersible’s pilot and CEO of OceanGate, Stockton Rush, 61. See more information about the victims below:

Courtesy of the Dawood family

Shahzada Dawood & Son Suleman Dawood

On June 18, 2023, a deep-sea submersible Titan, operated by the U.S.-based company OceanGate Expeditions and carrying five people on a voyage to the wreck of the Titanic, was declared missing. Following a five-day search, the U.S. Coast Guard announced at a June 22 press conference that the vessel suffered a “catastrophic implosion” that killed all five passengers on board.

Pakistani-born businessman Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son Suleman Dawood, both British citizens, were also among the victims.

Their family is one of the wealthiest in Pakistan, with Shahzada Dawood serving as the vice chairman of Engro Corporation, per The New York Times. His son was studying at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland.

Shahzada’s sister Azmeh Dawood told NBC News that Suleman had expressed reluctance about going on the voyage, informing a relative that he “wasn’t very up for it” and felt “terrified” about the trip to explore the wreckage of the Titanic, but ultimately went to please his father, a Titanic fan, for Father’s Day.

The Dawood Foundation mourned their deaths in a statement to the website, saying, “It is with profound grief that we announce the passing of Shahzada and Suleman Dawood. Our beloved sons were aboard OceanGagte’s Titan submersible that perished underwater. Please continue to keep the departed souls and our family in your prayers during this difficult period of mourning.”

AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

Stockton Rush

OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush was the pilot of the Titan. The entrepreneur—who founded the research company in 2009 in Everett, Wash.—had long been interested in exploration. Rush, 61, previously said he dreamed of becoming the first person on Mars and once said that he’d “like to be remembered as an innovator.”

In addition to leading voyages to see the remnants of the Titanic, Rush had another surprising connection to the historic 1912 event: His wife Wendy Rush is the great-great-granddaughter of a couple who died on the Titanic, Ida and Isidor Straus.

Action Aviation via AP

Hamish Harding

British billionaire Hamish Harding confirmed he was a part of the mission in a June 17 Instagram post, a day before the submersible went into the water and disappeared.

“I am proud to finally announce that I joined @oceangateexped for their RMS TITANIC Mission as a mission specialist on the sub going down to the Titanic,” he wrote. “Due to the worst winter in Newfoundland in 40 years, this mission is likely to be the first and only manned mission to the Titanic in 2023. A weather window has just opened up and we are going to attempt a dive tomorrow.”

Harding—the chairman of aircraft company Action Aviation—said the group had started steaming from St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada and was planning to start dive operations around 4 a.m. on June 18. The 58-year-old added, “Until then we have a lot of preparations and briefings to do.”

His past explorations included traveling to the deepest part of the ocean in the Mariana Trench, telling Gulf News in 2021, “It was an incredibly hostile environment. To travel to parts of the Challenger Deep where no human had ever been before was truly remarkable.”

The Dubai-based businessman also circumnavigated the Earth by plane with the One More Orbit project and, last year, took a trip to space on Amazon founder Jeff Bezos‘ Blue Origin New Shepard rocket. Harding shared his love for adventure with his son Giles, described as a “teen explorer” on his Instagram.

JOEL SAGET/AFP via Getty Images

Paul-Henri Nargeolet

As for the fifth member, a representative for French explorer Paul-Henri Nargeolet told the New York Times that he was a passenger on the Titan, with Harding also referencing him on Instagram as a member of the team. 

The Times described him as a maritime expert who was previously part of the French Navy. The 71-year-old was a bonafide Titanic specialist and has traveled to the wreckage 35 times before. Nargeolet served as the director of RMS Titanic, Inc., a company that researches, salvages and displays artifacts from the famed ship, per the outlet. 

Alongside fellow passenger Hamish Harding, he was a member of The Explorers Club, founded in 1904.

OceanGate Expeditions via AP

The Titan

As Harding noted in his post, the submersible—named Titan—was a part of an OceanGate Expeditions tour that explores the wreckage of the RMS Titanic, which infamously sank in 1912.

The company expressed its sympathies to the families of the victims. “These men were true explorers who shared a distinct spirit of adventure, and a deep passion for exploring and protecting the world’s oceans,” OceanGate said in a statement. “Our hearts are with these five souls and every member of their families during this tragic time. We grieve the loss of life and joy they brought to everyone they knew.”

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