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Rescued after nine days adrift

Friday 22 April 2016 | Published in Regional

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FIJI – In Fiji, an 18-year-old youth has been found after drifting at sea for nine days.

Police spokesman Inspector Josaia Weicavu confirmed Oreti Tabakau of Macuata was rescued yesterday morning by a fishing vessel.

“Police would like to thank Ariana Ltd and their fishing vessels for rescuing Oreti,” Inspector Weicavu said.

“He has been drifting out at sea since April 11 and we would also like to thank the media for raising awareness.”

Tabakau had joined a group of men from his village of Nakalou, Seaqaqa for a fishing trip to the Cakaubalavu reef.

While at the reef, their fishing boat capsized and one man managed to swim ashore.

He alerted the villagers and the search was conducted after which three others were rescued.

Tabakau drifted on the boat and police had been searching for him since then.

With the strong wind warning for Lau, Lomaiviti, eastern and southern parts of Vanua Levu, Taveuni and nearby smaller islands, Inspector Weicavu has reiterated the need to be cautious.

“There is no need to take the risk and go out to sea if the strong wind warning prevails for those up north,” he said.

“It would be wise for mariners to be cautious and stay on land for their own safety.” - FT