Inquest into girl’s death at sea reveals her last moments alive

By Pai Mulitalo Ale 23 September 2016, 12:00AM

The inquest into the death of a 14-year-old girl, who was found floating on the open ocean, continued yesterday.

The deceased is Malagamatamali’i Rosa Fautua.

The Inquest is before Coroner Vaepule Vaemoa Va’ai. 

Six witnesses were called to give evidence. 

The incident happened on 16 August 2016, when Malagamatamali’i took a boat, which belonged to Aqua Divers Samoa, at around 10am.

A 64-year-old father who was working on a machine on the beach saw it but it had never crossed his mind that something like this would happen.

“I thought her family owns the boat and she was having a swim.” 

Another witness, Vitale Stowers, who was working around the bay, said he too saw the girl taking the boat by herself. Stowers said before Malaga passed by, he saw another woman on a V1 canoe.

“A woman was wearing a purple top and tights, she was rowing the V1 and I didn’t see it return,” Vitale said. 

Stowers said the boat quickly made its way into the open ocean.

It was the last time Malaga was seen alive.

The girl’s body was later discovered by Mataafa Aileafi and his fishing crew at Utuali’i. 

Mataafa said that when they saw the body, they brought her back to shore and reported the matter to the police at Afega. 

Another witness, Pei Taliu Te’o, discovered the boat at night just outside of the coast of Leulumoega.

“We towed it back to the Apia fish market and notified our boss about the abandoned boat.” 

Pei told the Police that when they found the boat floating at sea, the engine was still running, with only a black skirt inside.

In court yesterday, Aleki Fuiavailili of Aqua Divers Samoa confirmed that the key was left in the boat for two weeks. 

Fuiavailili said that their company bought the boat from a businessman before he was told by his boss to test drive it. He said he forgot to take the keys from the boat and it was left there for two weeks. 

The Inquest has been adjourned until 5 October 2016 for the pathologist's report to be tendered.

By Pai Mulitalo Ale 23 September 2016, 12:00AM
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