Navy members search for missing colleague

By Sina Filifilia Seva’aetasi ,

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STILL MISSING: Joseph Tua.

STILL MISSING: Joseph Tua.

The search for missing New Zealand Navy sailor, Joseph Tua, is continuing.

The Samoan man, last seen at the popular To Sua Ocean Trench on 29 April, had visited his family when he decided to go sightseeing.

Some of his possession was found at the lava pool, not far from the popular trench.

Speaking during their weekly media conference, Police Spokesperson, Su'a LeMamea Tiumalu, told the Samoa Observer the search is continuing.

He said that while hope is fading about him being found alive, they are not giving up.

The search has been bolstered by the arrival of twenty-six members of the Royal New Zealand Navy who are on island to find their colleague.

On Saturday, a private ceremony was held at the family’s residence at Leauva’a to pray for the safety of the men as they begin their search. 

Family representative, Sola Ati, said they are not giving up hope. 

“The father of Joseph wanted a private ceremony for prayer over the Navy men that are here.    

“We want to pray for the leader of the team so that the love of God will guide them as they search for his son.”

According to Su’a, the Police believe that Mr. Tua might have been swept out to the sea.

"We suspect that he either fell into the ocean or he was struck by a wave," he said. "On the day of the incident, the sea was very rough." 

A local from To Sua who did not want to be named said Tua's belongings were found at a lava pool not far from the trench, and police believe he may have been enjoying the view when he got into trouble. 

His older sister, Isabel, said the last video he posted to Snapchat showed "dangerous rocks" and wild surf.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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