Friday, February 23, 2018

Man drowns days before his wedding


BODY NOT FOUND: Umar Mohammed

Mark Fraser

INSTEAD of marrying her sweetheart today, Abigail Agard spent yesterday praying for his body to wash ashore in Mayaro.

Umar Mohammed, an information technology student, 34, of New Grant, disappeared in choppy waters off Maloney Road, on Sunday. 

Coast Guard divers searched the waters on Sunday and yesterday, but did not to find the body. 

Agard, of Cedros, said that around 11.30 a.m. she was jumping in the waves and Mohammed was swimming some four metres ahead of her. 

She said that after some time passed without seeing him she raised an alarm. 

Agard told the Express: “The water was rough and I was jumping in the waves in waist-high water. He told me to stay there and he was going for a swim. He was about three or four metres ahead of me. A few waves came up on me and I tried to brakes them and dived under. When I came up I could not find him. I came out of the water to scan the beach, but nothing.”  

The Mayaro police and Coast Guard services responded, and divers began searching for Mohammed. However by nightfall when his body was not found the search was called off. 

Mohammed’s aunt, Zorina Mohammed, told the Express her nephew was a British citizen, but he returned to Trinidad several months ago. She said his parents and five siblings reside in London, England. 

Agard said she met Mohammed six months ago and he was “very kind and loyal”.

Mohammed’s aunt said he was deeply religious and loved his family dearly. 

Agard said that yesterday, Coast Guard officers arrived on the beach at around 9 a.m. and searched for three hours. 

“They just did a small search and then called it off around 12.20 p.m. I don’t know why they did that. There was still plenty of daylight to continue the search”, said Agard. 

She said just before they went swimming, she and Mohammed were talking about their marriage vows and starting their life together. 

“We were talking about how happy we were going to live. We were planning to honeymoon in Tobago, and then return for the Tobago Jazz Festival,” she said. 

Zorina Mohammed said today her nephew had planned to perform “Nikah”, which is the exchange of marriage vows according to Muslim rites. 

“We are a close knit family and all of us were looking forward to it. I asked him if he was sure he wanted to get married, and he said they loved each other. I knew it was true”, she said. “He was very religious and private and would do Nikah, and later have a celebration. He did not want a lavish celebration. Right now all of us are begging Allah for him to surface so that we can perform a proper burial.”