FIJI NEWS | NATION

Family Mourns For Son Who Drowned

“I pressed on his chest and tried to resuscitate him. There is a car wash nearby. I put Jone on my shoulder and ran to the car wash so I could take him to the hospital,” Mr Lalanacolo said.
18 Nov 2021 11:15
Family Mourns For Son Who Drowned
Tevita Lalanacolo shows the picture of his late seven-year-old nephew, Jone Tuirotuma at Vatuwaqa in Suva on November 17, 2021. Photo: Ronald Kumar. Right: Deceased...Jone Tuirotuma.

The mother of seven-year-old Jone Tuirotuma has been sobbing and wailing since she got the news that her son had drowned on Tuesday.

Merelesita Qolivonu’s home is located in the heart of the informal settlement in Daya Street, Vatuwaqa.

Her cries filled the air. She stops and then starts again.

“Na luvequ (my child)” is all she says.

 

Jone and his siblings left for Nasivi in Vatukoula last Friday.

They had gone to be with their uncle, Tevita Lalanacolo.

Mr Lalanacolo said he can clearly recall the day Jone drowned. He too was distraught and had not been able to eat.

He had to be the bearer of bad news travelling from Nasivi to Suva to tell his sister of Jone’s passing.

 

“It was a good start to the day. We had a good breakfast. Jone ate with us and then he was playing with my children and others from the settlement in Nasivi,” Mr Lalanacolo explained.

“We had butchered a cattle after that. We then had a heavy lunch.”

“We spread the mat in the shed outside and lay down and slept.”

“The children then decided to go for a swim. All the children from the village are good swimmers, and we did not know that Jone did not know how to swim that well.”

 

Relating The Incident

Mr Lalanacolo said the swimming spot in the river was not deep, but a few days earlier workers from the gold mine which was close by had extracted gravel from the spot.

He said he was still asleep when children came running to him to report what had happened to Jone. It was after 3pm, he said.

He said when he reached the river, a teenage girl had already taken his body out.

 

“I pressed on his chest and tried to resuscitate him. There is a car wash nearby. I put Jone on my shoulder and ran to the car wash so I could take him to the hospital,” Mr Lalanacolo said.

“At the hospital I was told that his lungs were completely filled with water.”

Jone’s postmortem examination will be done later this week.

 

The family is hoping to bury him next Friday.

According to Police, the drowning death toll is now 35 compared to 40 for the same period last year.

 

Feedback: shalveen.chand@fijisun.com.fj



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