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Friday 8 January 2016 | Published in Regional

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NUKU‘ALOFA – A German man was found dead at sea off ‘Eua, Tonga, after he was reported missing between Christmas and New year..

Salote Tonga of Tonga Police said that national, the body of 59-year-old Wolfgang Borner was discovered by a group of ‘Eua divers who were out fishing.

They reported to the police they had found human remains, tied with a rope on the ankles to a rock on the seabed.

‘Eua police divers visited the site and confirmed that the body was in an advanced state of decomposition. An immediate burial was ordered after the remains had been recovered, and examined by doctors at the Niu’eiki Hospital.

The police were investigating his death, and a suicide had not been ruled out.

Salote said that ‘Eua Police were earlier informed that Borner had not been seen for several days.

Borner who came from Berlin, Germany, had been living and working on ‘Eua for the past six years. He was employed by Sam Tatafu of Deep Blue Diving.

In addition to looking after the diving operation Borner in his spare time built the ‘Ovava Tree Lodge, which was completed at the end of 2014.

During 2015 Wolfgang built a little catamaran, which he sailed from ‘Eua to Nuku’alofa in October.

Matangi Tonga Online interviewed Wolfgang in October about how he built the catamaran with thrown away scraps from the ‘Eua saw mill.

It took him six months to build the catamaran, and though it was good enough for sailing around the Nuku’alofa harbour, he was at the time planning to build a bigger catamaran so that he could sail to Ha’apai and Vava’u.

He said he and his girlfriend enjoyed sailing into the Nuku’alofa harbour. - MT