Qadir Shah

An exhaustive five-day air, land and sea search for the body of drowned hiker Qadir Shah came to an end yesterday after his body was found close to the Turtle Rock area where he drowned.

One of the men who coordinated the search, Jose Young, told Guardian Media that Shah’s body was spotted shortly after noon yesterday. Young said at 4.30 pm yesterday, Coast Guard officers were trying to retrieve the body.

Shah was among a group of 15 hikers who went to Turtle Rock near Paria Bay, Blanchisseuse, last Saturday. The group was in the water when they got into difficulties. A fisherman who was nearby managed to rescue 14 members of the group but Shah was said to be in waters that were too choppy for the fisherman to venture into.

Since then, there have been massive search efforts, with National Security helicopters, drones, fishing boats and private citizens scouring the beaches along the North Coast.

Yesterday, Young thanked all those who assisted in the search. Although he said he could not speak on behalf of Shah’s family, he said they should be allowed to grieve in private.