NEWS

5-Year-Old Recalls Being Saved In Cooler

A  five-year-old boy was put in a cooler in an attempt to keep him afloat after the fibre-glass boat they were in sank in Macuata waters. Emosi Rasiga remembers feeling
29 Dec 2016 11:00
5-Year-Old Recalls Being Saved In Cooler
Emosi Rasiga (right) with mother Paulini Leleakula on Kia Island. Photo: Josaia Ralago

A  five-year-old boy was put in a cooler in an attempt to keep him afloat after the fibre-glass boat they were in sank in Macuata waters.

Emosi Rasiga remembers feeling scared and cold as 11 of them swam in open sea before they were saved.

The Yaro Village lad on Kia Island was travelling from Labasa to the island, two days before the school break last month, when the incident occurred.

This week, the shy boy clung onto his mother as she persuaded him to relay the events of that night.

Emosi said he remembered that it was very windy and he would get wet from the constant waves that hit the boat and it sunk.

It is understood that a big wave hit the boat in the middle of the open sea.

He said he clung onto his elder brother when they dove into the sea. His brother then put him in a cooler to keep afloat.

One of the other passengers, 57-year-old Sainiana Diqoro said: “There were 11 of us. Three were adults and all the rest were primary and high school students who were coming home for the break.

“We were also bringing home bags of chicken and other food stuff for the school prizegiving the next day. The boat was quite overloaded.”

Ms Diqoro said: “When the boat was filled with water, I told everyone not to be scared, but for us to swim together to safety.”

They swam until they reached a reef and stood there until boats came in search of them at around 10pm.

“We had left Labasa at 5pm and were rescued at 10pm,” Ms Diqoro said.

She said the people on the island sent four boats after they failed to arrive on the island about an hour after they were expected to arrive.

 

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback:  josaia.ralago@fijisun.com.fj

 

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