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Family Remembers Missing Sailor

Family Remembers Missing Sailor
Emotional mum Milika Lakepa, 58, right, with husband Satini Lakepa, 75, and family members during the memorial service for their late son Satini Lakepa (Jnr) on April 12,2018. Photo: Simione Haravanua.
April 13
11:02 2018

The late engineer’s parents Satini Kepa (Senior) and mother Milika Lakepa had seven children. The late Mr Lakepa Junior was the youngest

A memorial service for 27-year-old Satini Lakepa (Junior) was held at the Jubilee Hall in Toorak, Suva yesterday.

The service was atteneded by his family, friends and workmates, to show their appreciation for the young man, and to thank God for his life.

The late Mr Lakepa Junior, from Mavana, in Vanuabalavu, Lau, was a chief engineer on the Tahiti Nui II vessel.

Speaking on behalf of the vanua and the family, an uncle and former Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase, said as they stood at the service all they could see was a framed photo of the late engineer.

“He is not with us. God had plans for his life and it is our duty to continue to thank God for the life he had given,” Mr Qarase said.

Mr Qarase said the late engineer’s parents Satini Kepa (Senior) and mother Milika Lakepa had seven children. The late Mr Lakepa Junior was the youngest.

“There are seven of them. There are five males and two females and Junior was the youngest and not married.”

He said the late Mr Lakepa Junior was fondly called “Junior” by his loved ones.

“He was missing between the Kadavu and Suva waters a few weeks ago. He was searched for by the navy, Police and all those who work at sea. We do thank them for trying to find him,” Mr Qarase said

“He could not be found. We have not received any news of him being found on another island. But Police confirmed that his life jacket was found near Nabukalevu in Kadavu,” Mr Qarase said.

He said the late Mr Lakepa Junior followed the footsteps of his father, he loved being at sea and loved his parents.

Mr Qarase said the parents of the late Mr Lakepa Junior decided that the search had been too long, and a memorial service would bring closure to the case.

He said the late Mr Lakepa Junior knew his traditional customs and roles and was a quiet man.

He was reported missing at the Totogo Police Station, Suva by the captain of the Tahiti Nui II Sairusi Cavalaba, on March 27, 2018.

Meanwhile, Fiji Police Force spokesperson Ana Naisoro confirmed that the search has been called off.


Edited by George Kulamaiwasa



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