Drowning Victim Described As ‘Selfless’

The drowning death toll now stands at 20 compared to 25 for the same period last year.
22 Jul 2019 10:15
Drowning Victim Described As ‘Selfless’
The family of the late Tebaio Tionikai at their home in Natabua, Lautoka on July 21, 2019. Photo: Salote Qalubau. Inset: The late Tebaio Tionikai

The man who died in an attempt to save a boy from drowning, has been described by his family as a selfless person.

27-year-old, Tebaio Tionikai, from Rabi, was with a church group on a picnic at the Natadola Beach on Saturday, when he and others heard two children from his church calling for help.

Mr Tionikai’s sister, Kiri Kara, said her brother was eating when the two children began calling for help.

“The youth boys tried to save the two from drowning, but they couldn’t and so my brother was eating when he heard the boy calling out for help, he just took off his clothes and ran to go and save him,” Ms Kara said.

“Someone had already saved the little girl, only the boy was left to be saved.”

Another church member was able to save the boy before Mr Tionikai got to him.

“We last saw him waving from the sea calling for help,” she said.

She said he attempted a selfless act, but it ended sadly for him, the rest of the family and Rabian community.

Police spokesperson, Ana Naisoro said Mr Tionikai disappeared and his body was found an hour later by staff members of the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa in Natadola.

Ms Naisoro said he was then rushed to the Sigatoka Hospital, but was pronounced dead on arrival.

She said investigations into this incident continue.

The drowning death toll now stands at 20 compared to 25 for the same period last year.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce


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