DQ-HPT Crash: Devastated Sister Pays Tribute To ‘Loving And Caring Woman’

Bodies of Baby EJ, pilot Parker still not found, funeral of late Moceisuva likely on Wednesday, next week.
09 Aug 2019 16:15
DQ-HPT Crash: Devastated Sister Pays Tribute To ‘Loving And Caring Woman’
In happier times…From left: daughter Anaseini, son Epeli Jeremaia or EJ, Toga Kalougata and wife Taraivosa Moceisuva (back).

Taraivosa Moceisuva will always be remembered as a loving and caring woman.

That’s how Marica Suka described her sister while speaking to the Fiji Sun.

The late Ms Moceisuva was found last Saturday morning after the helicopter she was travelling in crashed the night before in Natewa Bay waters, Vanua Levu. She was travelling to the Labasa Hospital from Naitauba Island, with her sick two-year-old son, Epeli Jeremaia (baby EJ), and pilot Gilbert Parker on board a white Robinson ‘R’44 helicopter, registration DQ-HPT.

To date, the search continues for the bodies of ‘Baby EJ’ and Mr Parker.

“She would always put other people first, before herself,” an emotional Ms Suka said.

“And she will be best remembered as a loving person who adored her children and who loved her husband dearly.”

Silent husband

Ms Suka said her brother-in-law, Toga Kalougata, has not said much about the incident.

“He has not been himself. The news has been unbearable for him and he does not wish to speak directly to the media,” Ms Suka said.

“It was the first time for him to see his son sick, he panicked and wanted medical attention for his son.”

Ms Suka said ‘Baby EJ’ had a high fever and needed immediate medical attention.

Mr Kalougata worked on the private retreat on Naitauba Island for three years and the young family had just moved to the island a month ago.

Ms Suka said Mr Kalougata had called her when the helicopter left Naitauba Island for Labasa Hospital.

“Toga called after 6pm on Friday to inform me that my sister and ‘Baby EJ’ had been air-lifted to Labasa, but the helicopter had not reached Labasa yet,” she said.

“We only heard the news over the radio that the helicopter had crashed in Natewa Bay on Saturday.”

Ms Suka also said the family was currently coming to terms with their tragic loss and preparing to take the body of her sister to her final resting place in Sisila, Bouma, in Taveuni.

The post mortem examination for the late Ms Moceisuva was conducted yesterday and the body will be released to the family later.

Mr Kalougata has requested to have the funeral next Wednesday because his family are travelling in from Suva.

The late Ms Moceisuva is survived by her husband and five-year-old daughter Anaseini.

Wreckage find

Meanwhile, almost 30 pieces of evidence have been gathered in the past few days including helicopter debris and undisclosed biological evidence by the joint taskforce searching for the helicopter.

The taskforce consisting of 39 Police officers, five Republic of Fiji Military personnel and some civilians have been searching for the missing two since last Saturday.

The teams have combed the area from Nuku up until Sese and were moving North East along the Vanua Levu coast line.

The evening of August 2, was when a group of fishers on their way to reel in their net in Vaturova along Nuku when they heard a loud noise.

Deepak Chand of Vaturova said the noise was like a loud thud, almost as if a bomb had gone off.

The Chand family also looks after the estate where the first taskforce operation site was built as the search for the helicopter started.

Mr Chand said the current in Natewa Bay is quite strong and flows in a North Easterly direction. He said that is why the debris is being found along the coast line.

The helicopter was inbound from Naitauba Island transferring the two-year-old who was sick to Labasa.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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