NATION

Villagers Search For Missing Boy In River

Eighty people from Burelevu and Namara villages in Ra are still searching for a 10-year-old boy who is missing in the  Wainibuka River. Misaele Matawalu, his aunty and two cousins
11 Jan 2016 10:00
Villagers Search For Missing Boy In River
Mum Salome Matasau and dad Viliame Tabusulu with their children,(front left),Jone Turaganivalu,Lasarusa Matasau,baby Akapusi Qera,Miriama Wati (standing) and Vaseva Rokotara at their home in Kalabu.

Eighty people from Burelevu and Namara villages in Ra are still searching for a 10-year-old boy who is missing in the  Wainibuka River.

Misaele Matawalu, his aunty and two cousins went to the river last Friday to fish, the turaga ni koro (village headman), Viliame Laweloa,  said yesterday.

Misaele, originally from Lau, lived in Kalabu between Suva and Nausori with his parents.

“He just came last week with his aunty just to come and spend one week of his holiday and then return to Suva,” Mr Laweloa said.

“The river was still flooded when they went fishing. The kids bathed in the river while their aunty was fishing.

“His cousins came running to us when they realised he had disappeared in the river,” he said.

“Misaele got into difficulty but the other two boys could not rescue him because all three did not know how to swim,” Mr Laweloa said.

He said they searched for the body after they were informed of the incident.

“That Friday afternoon we had searched the river till dark. We couldn’t find his body because it was still flooded and that the currents were too strong.

“The Police search team came on Saturday and searched for the body as well but nothing was found. They finished searching today (yesterday),” Mr Laweloa said.

“This is the first time such an incident has happened in this village and our sincere condolence goes out to the family.”

He said their last day of search will be today.

“I have stressed to the villagers to be more vigilant with their kids from now on because we never know as to when accident would occur,” Mr Laweloa added.

Meanwhile, Police have confirmed Misaele was swept away by strong currents.
Parents shocked with son’s death

Misaele’s parents are still reeling with shock.

They shared their last dinner together as a family with their son last Tuesday.

Mother Salome Matasau said they both had no idea that their son went with his aunt to Burelevu Village.

“I went to work on Wednesday and he with his other 5 siblings were at home with their dad and late that afternoon he left with his aunt for Ra without letting his father know,” Mrs Matasau said.

“My other son then told me later when I reached home that Misaele had gone with his aunt to Burelevu,”she said.

Mrs Matasau described his son as a responsible kid.

“He looked after his siblings well and he loved school.

“Misaele was supposed to be in  Year Five this year at Kalabu Primary School. He had always dreamed of becoming a soldier.”

His father, Viliame Tabusulu, was speechless and could not contain his tears.

“I miss my son,” Mr Tabusulu said.

“We will now wait for his body before making funeral arrangement.”

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