SOS Message Saves Mugged Man From Bleeding To Death

  Bianca Gerber had barely settled down at her friend’s house on Fantasy Island, at Wailoaloa in Nadi, on Sunday when she read an SOS message from her father. His
08 Nov 2016 11:00
SOS Message Saves Mugged Man From Bleeding To Death
Bianca Gerber with her mother, Roshni Gerber at Lautoka Hospital. PhotoCHARLES CHAMBERS


Bianca Gerber had barely settled down at her friend’s house on Fantasy Island, at Wailoaloa in Nadi, on Sunday when she read an SOS message from her father.

His message on her Facebook messenger read: “Help, Help, Help – Call the Police.”

Bianca said: “When I called him, he said he had been mugged, ‘call an ambulance, I am bleeding’.

“Papa managed to hide his iPad. I do not know how he managed to message me after he was heavily injured and bleeding. I called a Police friend.”

Bianca later found her father, Jean Pierre Gerber, 68, bleeding profusely from a gaping hole on his throat on the blood-splattered deck of their family yacht in a Fantasy Island waterway.

As Mr Gerber lay in pain on his Lautoka Hospital bed yesterday with a tube in his body, Bianca vividly remembered the gruesome crime scene.

Mr Gerber was viciously attacked by a man armed with a sharp object believed to be a screwdriver.

The tube in his body is to remove fluid in his lungs believed to be blood from the injuries he suffered from the brutal attack.

The mugger, described as burly who is being sought by Police, had boarded Mr Gerber’s yacht  Wendy and Allen, sometime around 11pm on the pretext of wanting matches and cigarettes.

It was shortly after Mr Gerber had arrived at the yacht after dropping off Bianca at her friend’s place.

At 11.15, Bianca said she read her father’s Facebook message.

She knew her dad was in trouble. It did not look good.

After the brutal attack, the assailant made off with his laptop and Samsung Galaxy Note 5 from his boat.

Bianca recalled their Sunday afternoon together in Nadi as her mother, Roshni Gerber, was in Sigatoka attending a family function.

Bianca was at a friend’s house a little distance from the waterway where their yacht was anchored.

Mr Gerber and Bianca had returned from dinner. He then dropped his daughter at her friend’s place.

“After dinner before 11 pm my dad dropped me and went to his yacht. He said he was changing for bed when he heard someone jump onto the yacht.

“He thought it was his Colombian friend who had returned. He stays with my dad on the yacht,” Bianca said.

Unfortunately, when Mr Gerber went out he saw a man of strong build standing outside.

“My papa asked him what he was doing on the yacht and the man replied he wanted a cigarette or matches, I am not so sure what.

“But when papa turned to go get what he had asked for, the man punched him on the back of his head badly.

“He then stabbed my dad in the neck using a sharp object.”

She said the man kicked him and asked for money and his belongings.

Mr Gerber handed him his Samsung Galaxy Note 5, laptop and whatever cash he had in his wallet after which he fled, leaving him in a pool of blood on the ground.

At 11:15pm Bianca received a message from her father for help.

She said she hurried out in the dark and tried to go to her father, but she was scared that the man might be still be around.

“So I stopped near the security booth and saw the lights of the booth turned off.

“I stood there in the dark and made various calls to my friends and Police to come help me. Approximately 15 minutes later I saw the lights on at the security booth.

“I rushed to the security guard and with him I hurried to my dad. I was in shock when I saw shoe prints of blood and my dad had locked the door from inside.”

With the help of one of their family friends, Bianca rushed her father to the Nadi Hospital where he was told that his condition was serious and was transferred to Lautoka.

Mrs Gerber, who rushed to the hospital from a burial ceremony, said she wanted the Police to catch the culprit as soon as possible.

“This is not the first time we have been robbed. But that was at a different place, but Police could not find the thief then,” Mrs Gerber said.

“This time was my husband’s life that could have been lost.

“My husband does not have any enemies. He always makes peace with others. We do not know why he was brutally assaulted.”

Mrs Gerber said they had bought land on Fantasy Island and were waiting for the title.

The yacht was anchored on the waterway close to their land where they stay.

Mr Gerber has been in Fiji from the 1980s. Originally from Switzerland, he settled down here and worked in managerial positions in a number of resorts. He then opened a restaurant, Le Café, in Sigatoka.

Inia Tabaiwalu, 24, a welder of a landing barge which was anchored approximately 150-200 metres from Mr Gerber’s yacht, said he rushed to him once he got a call to help.

“When I reached him, I saw Jean crouching looking down to the floor and blood dripping continuously,” Mr Tabaiwalu.

Police spokesperson, Ana Naisoro, confirmed Police had received a report and they were investigating.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa



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