Coast Guard officers have recovered the body of Keshion Jonathan Rampersad, who drowned on the eve of his birthday while swimming at the mouth of the L’Anse Mitan River in Moruga on Sunday. Rampersad’s father John and his brothers Tristion, 18, and Aashish spent most of yesterday morning searching the shoreline with the hope that his body willbe found. From dawn, Coast Guard divers began searching themouth of the river to see whether Rampersad was stuck in the mud but it was around midday, that his body finally surfaced a short distance from where he disappeared. Police said Rampersad would have celebrated his 22nd birthday yesterday. Investigators said around 5.30 pm, he was swimming with three friends at the mouth of the river when they got into difficulties. Two of them managed to get out but Rampersad disappeared under the water. During an interview yesterday, Rampersad’s aunt, Mary Vialva, said the drowning was unexpected and devastating. Describing her nephew as a kind and helpful man, Vialvasaid one of Rampersad’s friends got into an accident recently and Rampersad took on the responsibility to carry him for therapy. On Saturday, Rampersad told his family that he was spending the night at his friend’s home in Barrackpore. She said on Sunday, his youngest sister Amelia Rampersad, who lives elsewhere with their mother Mindy Rampersad, visited Rampersad’s home at Bunsee Trace so she could tie a rakhi in commemoration of the Hindu festival of raksha bandhan which celebrates the bonds between a brother and a sister. “She waited for him and she kept asking when he would come home but late in the evening, his friend’s father came and said they looking for him in the river because they think he drowned,” Vialva said. Rampersad worked parttime as a security officer with Travtech Security Services. An autopsy will be done on his body today at the Forensic Science Centre. Moruga police are continuing investigations.