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Romantic Trip Turns Tragic

Romantic Trip Turns Tragic
Anitkat's family at Wainibuka river.His brother Rajitesh Prasad(pictured second from the right) with his uncle yesterday afternoon during the search.
December 30
11:55 2015

A 20-year-old boy summer’s day out with friends turned to tragedy when he drowned while trying to cross a river in Tailevu.

Anitkat Prasad was swept away by strong currents while swimming in the Wainibuka River on Monday afternoon.

He took a trip from the West to Nayavu Village in Wainibuka to spend Nayavu Day and Boxing Day with his girlfriend.

His girlfriend’s mother is from Nayavu Village.

Anitkat’s elder brother, Rajitesh said Anitkat had told the family that he was travelling to Rakiraki with a group of friends.

“This New Year’s will be a different one for our family. It will be a sad one for all of us since we lost our youngest brother.”

Anitkat was employed at Valley Riders in Lautoka as a mechanic.

“My mum and dad are still in shock, they cannot believe it as we were together at home on Sunday and then suddenly we received the news of his death.

“My parents are both devastated since the incident happened.”

The family left their home in Lautoka at 3am yesterday morning to get to Nayavu Village in Wainibuka.

The Nayavu children, who were with him during the incident, said that Anitkat knew how to swim but had an asthma attack while swimming.

His family also confirmed this.

Selai Mere said: “Our friends who did not know how to swim sat on the bank of the river including his girlfriend while we decided to swim to the other side.

“I tried to save him but the current was too strong.”

The drowning toll stands at 36 compared to 47 for the same period last year.

Police search conducted along the river was called off on Monday night and it continued on Tuesday afternoon.

The body was found yesterday afternoon after the family performed a traditional ‘sevusevu’ to Aseri Ranawa.

Villagers said that the place where Anitkat drowned was near a stone which is named after Mr Ranawa.

Village elder, Waisake Turaga said that the villagers mostly go for swimming near the Wainibuka Bridge.

“We cross this river every time to get to our plantation and even to catch fish but this is the first time this incident has happened,” he said.

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