The family of Sam Comber have issued heartfelt thanks to all those have helped them search for his remains.
The 39-year-old’s body was recovered from the River Foyle on Saturday, just one day after the search operation was escalated.
THE PSNI confirmed on Saturday that Foyle Search & Rescue had earlier recovered Sam Comber’s remains from the river.
The family have said that they believe keen swimmer Sam, who was originally from Leicestershire and who had moved to Derry just a year ago, may have gone for a swim in the river without knowing how dangerous it was.
Sam’s bike was found chained up and other belongings found near the river in the Newbuildings area after he went missing last Sunday.
The 39-year-old motorcycling fan, who lived just outside Newbuildings, had gone to the North West 200 the day before.
In a post on the ‘Help Find Our Sam’ Facebook page, Sam’s family said they wanted to extend their gratitude to all those who had helped them during the week.
The post stated that the Foyle Search and Rescue team “showed us dignity and compassion throughout”, and “provide such a vital service to Derry all year round”.
They also praised the family’s police liaison officer, and the family of young Jack Glenn, and a number of local people with expertise and resources as well as “friends, colleagues and strangers” all of whom have been providing support.
The family stated that the Boyne Fisherman’s Rescue and Recovery organisation had travelled from Drogheda to Derry at the weekend to help in the search while Meath River Rescue was due to come up on Monday.
They added: “The kindness of strangers was never as apparent as this week.
“Sam always spoke of how he loved the people of Derry.
“He knew there was a warmth and kindness in their hearts, just as he had. We saw the extent of that this week.
“Thank you for bringing Sam home.”
Expert search operations had been ongoing throughout last week, and on Friday, after the family met with Foyle Search & Rescue, they appealed for local people to help them in their search.
In a statement issued on Saturday, a PSNI Foyle spokesperson said: “Foyle Search & Rescue have this morning recovered a body from the River Foyle. Identified by the family as Sam Comber. The family would like to thank everyone involved for their help and support. They have asked that their privacy be respected at this difficult time.”