Feature

DQ-HPT Crash: One Year After Their Deaths

Taraivosa Moceisuva and two-year-old son EJ and pilot, Gilbert Parker, died in the crash on Aug 3, 2019.
04 Aug 2020 10:24
DQ-HPT Crash: One Year After Their Deaths

Toga Kalougata was awoken yesterday morning with grief.

It was one year to the day he lost his wife, Taraivosa Moceisuva and two-year-old son EJ (Epeli Jeremaia) perished after the helicopter they were in crashed into Natewa Bay near Vanua Levu.

It was a mercy dash, EJ had gotten sick and they were airlifted from Naitauba Island in the Lau Group to the Labasa Hospital.

Ms Moceisuva’s body was discovered a day after the crash while bodies of little EJ and pilot, Gilbert Parker, were never found. The search was called off after three weeks.

For Mr Kalougata, 33, life has been hard. It is the prayers and his children that have kept him going.

Taraivosa Moceisuva, Toga Kalougata and two-year-old EJ (Epeli Jeremaia).

Taraivosa Moceisuva, Toga Kalougata and two-year-old EJ (Epeli Jeremaia).

He said his three children Anaseini, 6, John 13, and Junior 18, stayed with his brother in Taveuni while he was at work on Naitauba Island.

“It is very hard especially when I am by myself at work on the island. Their thoughts are always with me and sometimes I feel sad,” he said.

“But I do not give up and continue to live life with God and for the future of my children.”

Mr Kalougata and his children would be making a trip down to Natewa Bay in September, during the school break.

He said this was the most suitable time for him and his children to make the trip.

A staunch Christian, Mr Kalougata said if it was not for the power from God he would not be able to find the strength to move on from the grief he had suffered.

His late wife was a widow when they met and already had two boys. He had accepted her and her children. He and Taraivosa later had Anaseini and EJ.

The crash

Despite an investigation and involvement of experts, there has been no discovery made yet to suggest as to how the white Robinson ‘R’44 helicopter registration DQ-HPT crashed into Natewa Bay.

The underwater terrain is uncharted and rugged with very strong undersea currents.

It was assumed that the strong currents had taken the helicopter parts and the bodies of EJ and Mr Parker out to sea.

The search for the missing helicopter.

The search for the missing helicopter.

Feedback: shalveen.chand@fijisun.com.fj

Fijisun E-edition
Total Excellium
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper