Deep Dive

Mysterious Disappearance: ‘Tua Is First Person Missing Between Mana Island, Ono-i-Lau’

“If people went missing, they’d still be found. A person who disappears here is easily found. But when we heard the news of Tua’s disappearance, it was already in the evening,” Mr Jale said.
08 Jun 2020 16:32
Mysterious Disappearance: ‘Tua Is First Person Missing Between Mana Island, Ono-i-Lau’
It is one of the three clusters of coral limestone islets that make up the island of Ono-i-Lau (pictured). It is located directly opposite Nukuni Village (circled in black) on mainland Ono-i-Lau. To get to the island, people have to travel by boat (left), travel by boat. On a 40 horsepower engine boat, it’ll take about three to four minutes to get to the island from Nukuni Village, and on a 25 horsepower engine boat, maximum travelling time would be seven minutes. It takes about 10-15 minutes to walk around Mana Island (circled in red) and Eliki Yaco Junior (right).

Eliki Yaco Junior, also known as Tua, is the first person to go missing from the area between Mana Island and Ono-i-Lau. This is according to Nukuni Village headman, Mesake Jale.

“If people went missing, they’d still be found. A person who disappears here is easily found. But when we heard the news of Tua’s disappearance, it was already in the evening,” Mr Jale said.

Tua was reported missing on Sunday, May 31, 2020, at around 4pm. He had gone to transport a couple from the Mana Island picnic spot back to Nukuni Village on Ono-i-Lau. The couple claimed Tua was bitten by a shark when they had stopped for a swim.

“It was on Sunday, around 4pm – 5 pm when the couple returned and told us that Tua was missing,” Mr Jale said.

There were two search parties deployed on Sunday evening. The first team included Manoa Tikomaicina, the husband of one of the registered nurses on the island, Maria Tupou.

The couple were the last to be seen with Tua before his disappearance…To read more subscribe to our e-edition.

Feedback: ivamere.nataro@fijisun.com.fj


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