In what comes as very tragic news, a newlywed Manhattan couple drowned on their Caribbean honeymoon. In the midst of a deadly global pandemic, 26-year-old corporate attorney Muhammad Malik and his 29-year-old bride Dr Noor Shah, a surgical resident at NYU Langone Health, managed to survive getting infected, but their life came to an abrupt halt in the most shocking of ways. The newly-wed couple drowned on October 28, after struggling against a strong riptide while celebrating at a Turks and Caicos Islands resort four days after their wedding in Long Island.
The pair had been swimming in chest-deep waters near Como Parrot Cay when they were suddenly pulled underwater by a strong riptide. According to the groom’s father, Col R Maqbool Malik, a well-known figure in Long Island’s Pakistani American community, witnesses were able to pull the couple from the water and performed CPR but both died at the scene. Malik said he was told of the death by the American Embassy in the Bahamas. His other two sons, 41-year-old Salman Malik, and 26-year-old Ahmad Malik travelled to Turks and Caicos to identify the bodies.
While the drowning is accidental, Malik is critical of the resort for failing to put up warning signs that would have told swimmers about the potentially dangerous swimming conditions. Resort officials are yet to respond to comment on the situation. “It’s a devastating loss,” he 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,” he added.
The couple’s bodies are expected to arrive in New York on Saturday. A funeral will be held Sunday in Teaneck, New Jersey, followed by burial in Totowa. The U.S. State Department, which confirmed the two deaths, said it has “worked to provide all appropriate consular assistance to the families. Out of respect to the families during this difficult time, we have no further comment.”
Mohammad Malik and Noor Shah were dating for about two years. “They were truly in love with each other. The kind of chemistry that we saw in those two human beings was amazingly fascinating. They loved each other.”
In a statement, Olshan Frome Wolosky LLP, the Manhattan firm where Malik worked, said, “‘It is with a great degree of sadness that we inform you of the tragic accidental death of Mohammad Malik and his wife Dr. Noor Shah Malik. They were both shining lights who touched everyone who had the benefit of knowing them. 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.”
“Mohammad always strove to live life to the fullest and to appreciate the richness of human experience. We deeply mourn this incomprehensible loss of exceptional members of our Olshan family. They will be deeply missed.”
Shah, a fourth-year resident in the Department of Surgery at NYU Langone Health, was also in the prime of life and health. “She was an excellent resident and a promising surgeon and she will be deeply missed,” the hospital said in a statement.