Qadir Shah

The family of drowned hiker Qadir Shah have dispelled negative comments made about the T&T Coast Guard’s efforts in locating their relative’s body. A search will continue today.

In a statement issued after the second day of searching was called off around 4.30 pm yesterday, Shah’s uncle, Yamin Alibaksh, actually apologised for social media posts criticising the Coast Guard.

“A heartfelt thanks to the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard and its team. We apologise for any negative comments which were made against the Coast Guard as it is not the view of the family,” Alibaksh said.

He specially thanked National Security Minister Stuart Young, whom he said immediately engaged the Coast Guard and provided much-needed support. He also thanked members of several mosques, fishermen, hiking groups and T&T Police Service (TTPS) for lending assistance in the search effort.

“I wish, on behalf of the entire Qadir’s family, to express thanks to all those who readily responded in our search efforts beginning early this morning,” Alibaksh said.

“We thank all the hikers who, in spite of the circumstances, have stood ground not relinquishing their resolve to find Qadir’s body.”

Shah, 31, of Murray Park, Beaucarro Road, Freeport, was among a group of 15 who went on a hike to Turtle Rock Bay on Saturday. Whilst in the water, Shah got into difficulties and his body submerged. A fisherman went to the group’s assistance and was able to rescue the other hikers.

But turbulent currents on the north coast hampered subsequent search parties who joined the effort. The search for his body is expected to resume this morning.

“Tomorrow (today), we will search again and we trust with Allah’s grace and the continued overall support from everyone we will succeed,” Alibaksh said. (DA)