N.Y. Newlyweds Drown on Island Honeymoon 4 Days After Wedding: ‘It Does Not Feel Real’
"They were both incredible, and everything I wanted to be in life,” the groom's brother said
A couple from New York City who’d just celebrated their wedding with family and friends died just four days later after they drowned while on a Caribbean honeymoon.
Maqbool Malik, the father of the groom, said the couple was swimming in waters chest deep on Oct. 28 when they were pulled out by a rip current near Como Parrot Cay, the New York Post reported.
The grieving father told Newsday that the newlyweds were pulled from the water by witnesses who performed CPR, but that they died at the scene.
“It’s a devastating loss. This is a shock beyond belief,” he told the outlet. “And it’s a tragedy of different dimensions when you have to lay two children to rest in a joint funeral.”
Malik was a corporate lawyer at Olshan Frome Wolosky in New York City, while Shah was a surgical resident at NYU Langone Health, according to the Post. Both children of immigrants, the couple hoped to one day open a hospital in Pakistan, WNBC reported.
“I felt numb, like it does not feel real,” Malik’s brother Salman told WNBC. “We are still in that elated sense of happiness from the wedding… Utter disbelief in the sense that, how could this happen?”
Ahmad, another brother of Mohammad’s, told the outlet that the newlyweds were popular and personable.
“They were both incredible, and everything I wanted to be in life,” he said. “Their energy as individuals was magnetic, but together it was incredible. Everybody wanted to be their friend. Everybody wanted to be around them.”
The brothers said they traveled with other members of their family to retrieve the newlyweds’ bodies from Turks and Caicos.
“They died together, that’s the bottom line,” Salman said. “They were the world to each other. One couldn’t live without the other.”
Como Parrot Cay, the luxury resort where the couple was staying, did not immediately return PEOPLE’s request for comment, but did confirm their deaths in a statement to USA Today.
"COMO Parrot Cay and the COMO Group are deeply saddened by the tragic accident that occurred while hotel guests were in the ocean off Parrot Cay in late October," the statement provided by spokesman Chris Orlikowsk said. "We have worked with the authorities of the Turks & Caicos to fully cooperate with their investigation into this incident."
If you get caught in a rip current, it is advised that you float or swim parallel to shore, as trying to swim against it will just wear you out, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The agency advises swimming diagonally toward the shore once you see land.