‘Come Home Son’

Come home son! This is the plea from the par­ents of missing sailor Satini Lakepa (Junior). Satini Lakepa (Senior), 75, and wife Milika Lakepa, 58, said they were still struggling
31 Mar 2018 12:33
‘Come Home Son’
Parents Milika Lakepa and Satini Lakepa (Senior) with a photo of their missing son, Satini lakepa (Junior). Photo: Nacanieli Tuilevuka

Come home son!

This is the plea from the par­ents of missing sailor Satini Lakepa (Junior).

Satini Lakepa (Senior), 75, and wife Milika Lakepa, 58, said they were still struggling to accept that their 25-year-old son was missing out at sea.

Lakepa (Junior) hails from Ma­vana Village, Vanuabalavu, and was a chief engineer on board the Tahiti Nui II, which is owned by Kokomo Island Resort on Yaukuve Levu, Ka­davu. He was reported missing by the ship’s captain, Sairusi Cavalaba, at Totogo Police Station, Suva, on March 27, 2018, after returning from Kadavu.

“We are still in a shock to hear this news … that he is still missing at sea. We have not received the details of what happened,” Mrs Lakepa said.

“But we have absolute faith that he is alive and he is safe,” she said.

“Prayers can do miracles and I have faith that my son is still alive.”

Yesterday, she said, they gath­ered as a family to pray for young Lakepa’s safe return.

She said they needed him back to celebrate his birthday and spend Christmas together.

“No matter how long the search takes we need our son back.”

Mrs Lakepa is calling on the pub­lic to pray for her son’s safe return.

She last spoke to her son on Sun­day, March 25, 2018, after dropping off his lunch at the Port Mua-i-Wa­lu jetty in Walu Bay.

“My son loves his food, so I packed his lunch and took it down to the wharf and said goodbye to him. He is a humble child and we have high hopes in him because he is study­ing to be seaman. He is a tough and easygoing kid,” she said.

While holding a picture of her son, Mrs Lakepa pleaded with sea­farers who would know the where­abouts of her son to contact the Search and Rescue Unit of the Fiji Navy or the Police. She said they still had not received any new up­dates about her missing son from the vessel owners. The last news they received from the vessel own­ers was on the day Lakepa (Junior) was reported missing.

Meanwhile, Fiji Navy Command­er, Captain (Navy) Humphrey Tawake, said they had searched Kadavu and Beqa waters, but were unsuccessful so far.

“This does not mean that we will stop our search,” Captain (Navy) Tawake said.

The naval vessel Kula is still in the area searching. He is appeal­ing to Fijians living along coastal areas to contact them on 3312585, if they have any information.

Fiji Police director operations Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Livai Driu said the search for young Lakepa continues.

He said the report filed by the ship skipper, Mr Cavalaba, was about a missing sailor.

He said the skipper did not clarify whether Mr Lakepa was in the boat because they only knew he was missing when they noticed he was not in his room.

Mr Driu said the definite area where young Lakepa went missing was not known.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

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