NATION

Man Who Recovered Bodies of Drowned Brothers Tells Of Discovery

Sanaila Radevo of Vadrai Village in Nakelo, Tailevu, has urged parents and guardians to be vigilant and fully aware of their responsibilities when on a family picnic.
09 Sep 2020 11:13
Man Who Recovered Bodies of Drowned Brothers Tells Of Discovery
Sanaila Radevo of Vadrai Village in Nakelo shows where the two boys drowned while swimming on September 8, 2020. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Sanaila Radevo of Vadrai Village in Nakelo, Tailevu, has urged parents and guardians to be vigilant and fully aware of their responsibilities when on a family picnic.

This was after he discovered the bodies of two brothers Sakiusa, 11, and Peni Bulikula, nine, who are believed to have drowned during their picnic trip at Nasilai Village on Monday.

Mr Radevo, who was on his way to a youth mangrove planting initiative around 2.30pm on Monday, said he spotted Sakiusa’s body floating at sea, about 200 metres away from where he stood.

He said there was no one else at the picnic spot, but the two boys and two of their aunties from Nasilai Village.

“There were rough seas yesterday (Monday) and very strong winds so I chose to walk along the beach on my way to Nasilai Village. While on my way, I could spot a body floating nearly 200 metres away,” Mr Radevo said.

“I straight away knew there was a problem, so I rushed to the scene without minding anything.

“Strong winds and currents made it difficult for me to get to the body, but I kept persisting, because water was up to my neck and water currents were strong.”

He said he was more disappointed when he saw the two women, who were supposed to supervise them, sleeping underneath a tree.

“When I yelled at them as I struggled to get the body ashore, then they came to my rescue.

“Sakiusa was so heavy, but I had to be strong to get him to shore. I got him out of the water after struggling with strong currents, applied cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), but it was too late.”

He said after Sakiusa was retrieved, the villagers helped search for Peni.

“I ran to the village to get two other boys to help me look for the other kid.

“When we were looking for the second one, the villagers crowded the beachfront to see what was happening. So we later discovered the body of the second one emerged from the water.”

He said the accident could have been avoided if supervisors remained vigilant.

“If you are coming out for a picnic, make sure you are aware of what your children are doing and where they are, because accidents happen at any time.”

The family of the two boys declined to comment.

According to a statement by the Fiji Police Force, Sakiusa had tried to rescue Peni, who was believed swept away by strong currents, when they both drifted into deeper waters before disappearing.

The drowning toll stands at 25 compared to 23 for the same period last year.

Police investigations continue.

Edited by Ivamere Nataro

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