NATION

So Long, Captain Jonathan Smith

“My dad wanted to be buried out at sea. It was his wish, and we fulfilled it.”
17 Aug 2021 12:12
So Long, Captain Jonathan Smith
Close family members prepare to release the body of the late captain Jonathan Smith in the burial at seaon August 16 2021. Inset: The late Captain Smith. Photo: Leon Lord

The late Captain Jonathan Smith was described as an honest man by his eldest son, Tristan Smith.

Captain Smith died on August 9 aged 48, following a road accident.

He was buried at sea yesterday as he had always wished. The late Captain Smith hailed from Lovoni, Ovalau and has maternal links to Lagalevu in Kadavu.

Post mortem report stated that he died from a heart attack.

“My dad was always a cheerful person, supportive, positive, honest and always full of energy,” Mr Smith said.

“He was someone we could always count on, and he would never let us down. I miss him so much.

“My dad was someone who spoke his mind and says it as it is and that was something I loved about him.

“My dad wanted to be buried out at sea. It was his wish, and we fulfilled it.”

Farewell my love...Wife of the late captain Jonathan Smith says her last goodbye on August 16 2021. Photo: Leon Lord

Farewell my love…Wife of the late captain Jonathan Smith says her last goodbye on August 16 2021. Photo: Leon Lord

Mr Smith said his last conversation with his dad was on Sunday over a phone call.

“My father wanted to have lunch with me on Sunday, but I told him that I was busy at work and for us to meet on Monday,” the emotional Mr Smith said.

“That was the last conversation we had and it hurts me that I was busy and did not have lunch with him.

“I was at work on Monday morning when my uncle came and told me that my dad was no more. I did not know how to react because I was not expecting it. I was angry at myself because I did not go for lunch with him when he called me.

“This is my fourth sea burial and the last three my dad was with me. He taught me what to do and today I am doing it without him.

“I will miss the way he motivates us and encourages us. My dad always makes sure that we worked hard.

“He always makes sure that we do everything to the best of our abilities. He instilled discipline in us.”

Close members of the “Uto Ni Yalo” crew followed the body of the late Captain Jonathan Smith during Captain Jonathan Smith’s sea burial at the Suva Harbour on August 16 2021. Photo: Leon Lord

Close members of the “Uto Ni Yalo” crew followed the body of the late Captain Jonathan Smith during Captain Jonathan Smith’s sea burial at the Suva Harbour on August 16 2021. Photo: Leon Lord

Captain Smith’s funeral service was held at the Royal Suva Yacht Club in Walu Bay.

The late Captain Smith will forever be remembered as a passionate environmentalist and conservationist and an accomplished sea captain and diver.

Members of the public farewelled Captain Jonathan Smith at the Suva harbour on August 16 2021. Photo: Leon Lord

Members of the public farewelled Captain Jonathan Smith at the Suva harbour on August 16 2021. Photo: Leon Lord

He is survived by his wife, Mavis, his children, Tristan, Jeric, Carter and Shaula.

ABOUT CAPTAIN JONATHAN SMITH 

  • Captain Smith was the Operations Manager for Dive Centre Fiji Limited where he led a group of divers that salvaged wrecks at sea.
  • He started as a cadet, second officer, chief officer on foreign going cargo ships operating out of Australia and New Zealand.
  • He became a Captain, sailing around Fiji as well as the Pacific with his other notable achievements including captaining the traditional ocean-going canoe Uto Ni Yalo between 2010 and 2012.
  • Captain Smith traveled extensively during the course of his maritime career and spent a lot of his recent time at the Royal Suva Yacht Club Marina where he carried out his marine engineering work.

Edited by Selita Rabuku

Feedback: wati.talebula@fijisun.com.fj



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