NATION

Dogoru Village duo tell of obstacles during search

Rafaele Are and Metuisela Railumu of Dogoru Village, Macuata, were all geared up to accomplish their mission to find the crash site and flying instruc­tor Iliesa Tawalo and student pilot
05 Mar 2018 11:00
Dogoru Village duo tell of obstacles during search
(Left-Right) Rafaele Are and Metuisela Railumu who were part of the rescue team point at the crash site at Delaikoro March 1, 2018. Photo:JACKSON TUVICI

Rafaele Are and Metuisela Railumu of Dogoru Village, Macuata, were all geared up to accomplish their mission to find the crash site and flying instruc­tor Iliesa Tawalo and student pilot Merelesita Lutu.

This was despite fatigue creeping in after the arduos journey through the mountain terrain to Delaikoro.

They were part of the rescue team that included personnel from the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, Fiji Police Force and National Fire Authority who searched for the Cessna 172 plane that disappeared in the mountainous terrain in Mac­uata.

Mr Are said he was feeling emo­tional as they conducted their search for the aircraft and its oc­cupants.

“My mind was thinking of what the family members were going through when they heard that the plane in which the two victims were on had crashed. But, surely they will now be at peace knowing their loved ones have been found,” the 40-year-old said.

“I was tired during the search but I knew that I needed to find them at any cost.

“Their families were waiting for them and I did what I had to. The rain and the fog really made it hard for the search.

“I am glad that they have been found, but I am sad knowing what their family are going through right now.”

Mr Railumu said the weather was the main obstacle during the search.

“I had been with the rescue team since Monday and it was not easy because of the rain and the fog was thick,” the 34-year-old said.

“Despite the weather we just want­ed to find the plane and the two vic­tims.

“I thank God that they have been found and their families are now at peace despite going through some tough time.”

The search started on Monday and ended on Wednesday when the wreckage of the Cessna 172 was lo­cated and Police confirmed the dis­covery of the victims.

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback: wati.talebula@fijisun.com.fj




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