NEWS

Drowning: Mother’s Dream For Son’s Birthday Dashed

A mother’s dream to celebrate her son’s 21st birthday in June was shattered after he drowned on Monday morning. Tevita Sheik drowned while swimming with four of his friends in the
24 Jan 2018 15:12
Drowning: Mother’s Dream For Son’s Birthday Dashed
Maria Pio hold picture of his late son Tevita Sheik at their home in Narara, Ra on January 23, 2018. Photo: Karalaini Tavi

mother’s dream to celebrate her son’s 21st birthday in June was shattered after he drowned on Monday morning.

Tevita Sheik drowned while swimming with four of his friends in the Drana River.

Tevita was the youngest of seven siblings.

Maria Pia, his mother, described him as a very hardworking boy who was always close to his parents.

Ms Pia gathered what little strength she had to share her son’s story at their home yesterday.

“He was a good boy, obedient, full of life and was always helping his father on the farm,” she said.

“All our children have grown, got married and moved out. Tevita being the youngest was always close to us.”

Ms Pia said she was not aware that his son had left with his friends to go swimming on Sunday.

“It was a normal Sunday like any other, we had lunch together and then he said he was going to fix up his diving suit,” she said.

“Early Monday morning while I was washing the dishes I saw the police car come up the driveway with his friends in it, but he was no where to be seen and right then I sensed something was wrong.”

Ioane Sekaia, who was with the deceased that morning, said they had always been swimming and fishing along that river all their lives and never expected what had happened.

Mr Sekaia said they started from the river mouth near town (Rakiraki) heading upstream, Mr Sheik had fallen back. When the four glanced back they could not find him.

“We left at around midnight. We began our net fishing from the town end,” Mr Sekaia said.

“Tevita had fallen back, so we kept moving up because we could see more fish was ahead.

“When we looked back, his light was out so we came back to the place where we last saw him.

“When we found him we attempted to resuscitate him but it was unsuccessful. This was around three in the morning.

“We carried his body from where we were till we reached the Rakiraki Hospital at around five.”

Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro said Mr Sheik died after jumping off the Rewasa Mead Road Bridge on Sunday night.

She said he was swimming in the Drana River with four other men when it is alleged he failed to surface.

A post mortem examination will be conducted to ascertain the cause of death.

Mr Sekaia said he still could not believe his friend had passed away.

“I still can’t believe he’s gone. He was always a fun person to hang around with and I will surely miss him,” Mr Sekaia said.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

Feedback:  karalaini.tavi@fijisun.com.fj



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