A Manhattan couple deeply in love tragically drowned during their Caribbean honeymoon, just four days after getting married. Mohammad Malik, 35, a corporate attorney and Dr. Noor Shah, 29, a surgeon, were swimming in chest deep-waters near Como Parrot Cay in Turks and Caicos when they were pulled under by strong riptides, Col. R. Maqbool Malik, the groom’s father, told Newsday.
“This is a shock beyond belief. And it’s a tragedy of different dimensions when you have to lay two children to rest in a joint funeral,” Malik said, according to the New York Post.
The unthinkable tragedy happened on Oct. 28, when Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police officers in North Caicos responded to a report of a drowning at 2:41 p.m. Beachgoers had alerted authorities of two people floating in the water, the Turks and Caicos Weekly News reported.
Witnesses had pulled the couple from the water and performed CPR, but they could not be saved.
According to the local newspaper, the newlyweds were both confirmed deceased by a doctor at 4:02 p.m. and were transported to the Providenciales Government Morgue. The Island’s Acting Commissioner of Police Rodney Adams called the incident a “tragic loss of life,” and extended his condolences to the victims’ families and friends, the Weekly News reported.
The U.S. State Department, which confirmed the two deaths, said it has "worked to provide all appropriate consular assistance to the families."
Mohammad's brothers, 41-year-old Salman Malik and 26-year-old Ahmad Malik traveled to Turks and Caicos to identify the bodies, Meaww.com reported.
The couple had tied the knot just four days earlier on Oct. 24.
The brothers spoke of the special love the couple shared.
“My brother was very deeply in love with her [Noor]. He was always glowing when he was with her. He was glowing on the day of his wedding,” Ahmad Malik told the Post. “It was the happiest day of our lives just four days earlier when we celebrated their wedding at The Carltun in Eisenhower Park.”
The resort told Inside Edition Digital in an email that they are working with the authorities.
"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. We have worked with the authorities of the Turks & Caicos to fully cooperate with their investigation into this incident," said Chris Orlikowski, Group Director, PR and Communications of COMO Hotels and Resorts.
Mohammad's father, a prominent figure in Long Island’s Pakistani-American community, said he was devastated by his son and new daughter-in-law’s tragic deaths. He also reportedly criticized the resort for what he said was a lack of signs warning swimmers about potentially dangerous riptides.
The couple was extremely accomplished in their respective fields. Malik called his son "a rock star " who rose very fast in his law firm. He also told the newspaper that "his son was a man with a lot of compassion, who was a very good son, a very good brother and a very good friend."
Colleagues described the pair as “shining lights who touched everyone who had the benefit of knowing them.”
The groom had graduated from Cornell University and worked at Olshan Frome Wolosky LLP in Manhattan.
“Mohammad was a humble, bright, and talented attorney and a truly kind and gentle soul. Mohammad always strove to live life to the fullest and to appreciate the richness of human experience,” said the law firm in a statement. “We deeply mourn this incomprehensible loss of exceptional members of our Olshan family. They will be deeply missed.”
Shah, who grew up in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, was a graduate of Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and a fourth-year surgical resident in the Department of Surgery at NYU Langone Health.
“She was an excellent resident and promising surgeon and she will be deeply missed,” said the hospital in a statement.
The couple married had been together for two years before marrying, family members said, and that they were planning to move in together after their honeymoon. “They were truly in love with each other,” said Mohammad's father, who said Noor was the love of his son's life. “The kind of chemistry that we saw in those two human beings was amazingly fascinating."
Salman Mailk told the Post that Noor, “was everything to him. She was his princess when he got engaged and she became his Queen.”
Ahmad Malik, agreed. “Noor and Mohammed together were just magnetic and brought happiness to everyone around them. Their energy was infectious and they were beautiful and glowing."
He added: "While we’re sad they’re not with us anymore, we’re glad that they’re together and were together in their final moments.”