NATION

Grieving Father Tells of Last Moments With 3-Year-Old Son Who Drowned

Mr Sela and his son, Josaia Sogotabu, who is fondly known as Junior, were returning from a pig feeding trip on Tuesday when the drowning incident happened.
10 Sep 2020 12:21
Grieving Father Tells of Last Moments With 3-Year-Old Son Who Drowned
Josaia Sela. Photo: Ronald Kumar

I cannot bear the thought of returning home where my son once greeted me and would search through my backpack to see what I got for him”.

These were the tearful words of 55-year – old Josaia Sela who lost his three-year-old son in a drowning incident along Nasali River in Rewa.

Mr Sela was returning from the Wainibokasi Hospital after the post-mortem examination was conducted when Fiji Sun caught up with him as he was planning to relay the news of his son’s passing to the rest of the family.

“I was supposed to go back home after the post-mortem examination, but I just couldn’t do it because I was so used to seeing his face every time I reached home,” Mr Sela said.

“Whenever I go to town or the market, I always look forward to going home because I know Junior will be at home but now that he’s gone, it won’t be the same again. I don’t have anything to look forward to anymore.

“Last night I could not sleep at all as I kept thinking of him, and I feel like a huge part of my life is gone. I miss this kid so much,” he said.

Mr Sela and his son, Josaia Sogotabu, who is fondly known as Junior, were returning from a pig feeding trip on Tuesday when the drowning incident happened.

The emotional father had planned out the day for his son the previous morning before heading out to the farm located across Nasilai Village.

Nasali Landing in Rewa on September 9, 2020. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Nasali Landing in Rewa on September 9, 2020. Photo: Ronald Kumar

“As we were returning from the farm to go to the village, I suddenly blacked out,” Mr Sela said.

“When I regained consciousness, I turned around to only see my daughter and not my son, I asked her where is Junior and she said that he fell overboard. So I quickly dived in the water hoping to find him, but I couldn’t.

“His body was in the water for 10 minutes and resurfaced near Nabua Village where two boys recovered his body and tried to resuscitate him,” he said.

“I miss him so much, he was the only kid that would accompany me to go to feed the pigs and wherever I go, Junior was always by my side.

“Feeding the pigs was always his favourite chore of the day, even when I forget to go to feed the pigs, he would point at the bucket for the food just to signal to me that it was time to feed the pigs.”

He said while the family was coming to terms with their loss, Mr Sela is thankful for the life that Junior lived.

Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro confirmed that a search was conducted by villagers from Nasilai and Nabua where his body was later recovered a few metres from the scene.

Investigations continue.

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

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

Feedback: laiseana.nasiga@fijisun.com.fj

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