Boxing Day tragedy

By Pai Mulitalo Ale ,

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HAPPIER TIMES: The late Phoenix Paul Junior Amerika (right) and his brother Eugine Amerika  who survived the incident.

HAPPIER TIMES: The late Phoenix Paul Junior Amerika (right) and his brother Eugine Amerika who survived the incident.

Two people died on Boxing Day – with the possibility of a third death - after a leisurely swim at Mulinu’u turned into a tragedy on Boxing Day. 

Among the dead is a seven-year-old boy, Paul Amerika Jr, and his mother who drowned. Another man also reportedly died at the same place.

The incident could have been deadlier had it not been for the courageous efforts of a Police officer, Alesana Ieremia, who saved another young child.

Speaking to the Samoa Observer yesterday, the father of the deceased boy, Paul Amerika Snr, said he was still coming to terms with what had happened.

While it was not possible to get a comment from the Police yesterday, Mr. Amerika said the officer, who is at the hospital, saved his other child’s life.

“I went yesterday to see him at the hospital and I thanked him personally for what he had done and the amazing job he did,” said Mr. Amerika. According to the father, Officer Ieremia was out on police patrol and came across the incident.  He called in the Fire and Emergency Services Authority (F.E.S.A) but did not wait for them to arrive as he raced straight in to help. 

At the Police station yesterday, other officers praised the brave work by Ieremia.

According to Mr. Amerika, his two sons stay with him at Vaitele. He said their mother had asked him if she could spend some time with them on Friday. When he dropped them off that was the last time he would see them.

“I only found out on Sunday morning from my parents house at Nofoali’i about what had happened,” he said through his tears.

 “What hurts me is the fact that my former partner’s family knows where I live and my phone number but they never bothered to let me know about what had happened.”

Mr. Amerika said it would take some time for him to recover from what has happened.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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