Brother laments loss

Sister Akarisi Vakacegu and brother Iobe Tabua shows the picture of his drowning brother at their Nadera home yesterday. Picture: RAMA

WHEN Iobe Tabua sent his younger brother on an errand on Monday, he did not realise it would be the last time he would see him alive.

The body of 16-year-old Francisco Vincent was recovered by firemen in a mangrove swamp in Nadera, Nasinu, later that day.

He was swept away by strong currents while trying to retrieve a rugby ball at the Nadera grounds.

Mr Tabua said on Monday they were fixing a shed at home and ran out of nails.

He sent Mr Vincent to fetch nails from a cousin’s place.

“When he went down, he saw some children playing in the ground,” Mr Tabua said.

“I was waiting for him at home and because he was a bit late, I went to look for him. I was standing at the shop and I could see him playing.

“The next time I looked, he was lost and everyone was staring at the drain. I did not know why since nobody told me anything. After 10 minutes, they came up running to me and told me that something had happened to my brother.

“I went to the drain and it was flooded with strong currents. I went to the other end of the tunnel and I only could see the ball. We spent almost an hour looking for him.

“We went to the mangroves and that is where the firemen managed to find his body.”

He said Mr Vincent was the youngest of the nine siblings and had come to Suva from Labasa for the school holidays.

“He was supposed to start a holiday job today (yesterday) and on Friday he promised me to take me for a treat. He had always aspired to become a rugby player.”

Francisco Vincent will be laid to rest on Saturday.

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