Man dies from swimming incident, another missing

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu ,

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Tragedy has struck the village of Luatuanu’u at the beginning of 2019 with a young man dead and the families keeping vigil, hoping the body of another young man who has been missing at sea since Thursday, is found.

The deceased man was among three men who went out for a “casual swim” on Thursday when they got into trouble. 

The third man is fighting for his life at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital.

The incident was confirmed by Police officers, who were at Luatuanu’u yesterday, to continue the search for the missing body.

The Police divers were assisted by men from the village during the search and rescue which started on Thursday evening and continued late yesterday.

Seiuli Fa, of Luatuanu’u, who spoke on behalf of the Tua family, said his nephew in his 30s was accompanied by two men, when they went swimming. 

“The three men were swimming and there was a log that was floating and they all grabbed on to it,” Seiuli said. 

“The waves took the log further out into the water, two men jumped off while my nephew held on to the log. 

“Unfortunately one died and did not make it to the hospital. One of the men survived and he’s at the hospital.”

SEARCH AND RESCUE OPERATION: Men from the village have joined Police and F.E.S.A. officials to search for the missing man. Photo: Aufa'i Areta Areta
SEARCH AND RESCUE OPERATION: Men from the village have joined Police and F.E.S.A. officials to search for the missing man. Photo: Aufa'i Areta Areta
Family members camping out on the beach waiting for word from the Police rescue team.
Family members camping out on the beach waiting for word from the Police rescue team.
STILL LOOKING: The Police divers were assisted by men from the village during the search and rescue.
STILL LOOKING: The Police divers were assisted by men from the village during the search and rescue.

Seiuli identified the missing man as Fa Tua.   

“My nephew Fa Tua up to this day has not been found. We are still waiting for him to return.”

Yesterday, across the road from the residence of Fa Tua, the families and villagers gathered to wait for answers, hoping that the body would be found.

The Police Officers who were at Luatuanu’u declined to comment on the status of their search.

 Emails to the Commissioner of Police, Fuiavaili’ili Egon Keil, have not been answered as of press time. 

In the meantime, Seiuli has called on all the prayer warriors in Samoa for assistance. 

“We seek your hand and ask that you remember my nephew Fa in your prayers,” said Seuli. 

The Samoa Observer was not allowed in the hospital to see the survivor yesterday. 

Attempts to get a comment from the family of the man who died on Thursday have been unsuccessful.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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