NEWS

21-Year-Old Turner Drowns In A River In Matata Settlement

Attempts to revive him were unsuccessful and he was conveyed to the Lami Health center where he was pronounced dead.
07 Feb 2021 12:32
21-Year-Old Turner Drowns In A River In Matata Settlement
Atelaite Lomalagi, 13 (left) and Sereima Rokotina, 13, beside the river where 21-year-old Arthur Turner drowned in at Matata Settlement, Lami on February 6, 2020. (Inset: Arthur Turner). Photo: Inoke Rabonu

Arthur Turner left his home to attend his uncle’s birthday party in Matata Settlement in Lami.

Who would have thought that Mr Turner would never return?

The 21-year-old is now the latest drowning victim in the country.

According to Police, Mr Turner was swimming with another student that afternoon before his body was found lying motionless under water when he failed to surface.

Attempts to revive him were unsuccessful and he was conveyed to the Lami Health center where he was pronounced dead.

Arthur Turner.

Arthur Turner.

Residents of Matata Settlement are still trying to come to terms with the reality that a man had drowned in the river they use daily.

Eyewitness Atelaite Lomalagi, 13, who was sitting by the riverbank when the incident happened said Mr Turner was visiting the area as he was only there to celebrate his uncle’s birthday party on the day.

“Before the birthday party began, he and another of his cousins decided to go for a swim at the river just opposite the house he was visiting,” she said.

“They were just having fun.”

It was around 4pm when the incident occurred. She said Turner dived into the water when his head hit another kid’s head.

“Minutes later we noticed that he had not surfaced, by then everyone knew that nothing had really happened,” she said.

“Few minutes later one of his friends dived back into the water to check on him.

“He discovered that he was lying motionless under water, he was brought up to the ground and attempts by everyone to revive him were unsuccessful.”

She said drowning in the area was not common but the incident that happened was shocked to the residents.

“We are really scared to swim again in the river,” she said.

Mr Turner had just celebrated his 21st birthday in December last year.

Police say a post-mortem examination would be conducted to ascertain the cause of death.

The drowning death toll currently stands at six compared to one for the same period last year.

Edited by Selita Rabuku

Feedback: inoke.rabonu@fijisun.com.fj



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