One Tongan fisherman 'presumed lost' two survive

A Tongan family is struggling to deal with the loss of a husband after he went missing at sea last week.

Selemaia Nonu 28 of Pātangata was alleged to have been lost at sea while fishing with two other fishermen, Ta’anga Kata and Kaliopasi Lasalo on Thursday 18.

His father Kinikini Nonu told Kaniva News the disaster had allegedly been due to a mechanical failure. He said they were told the dinghy’s engine failed to operate. Selemaia jumped into the water trying to tie the ship into a nearby buoy but could not be able to return to the dinghy.  

The sea area between Tongatapu Island and 'Eua is known for its dangerous currents.

Kata and Lasalo managed to return ashore at Lavengatonga beach and raised the alarm with police.  

Nonu said searches by his families and friends scoured areas between Tongatapu and ‘Eua including the island of Kalau but could not be able to find him.  

Police reportedly sent an aircraft to the area but unable to locate Nonu.

His wife Malia Ma’u Nonu emotionally told Kaniva News  her husband was turning 28 today. She said their last contact by mobile phone he asked for the weather focus and sent his love to his children.

The wife said they have 3 kids. The eldest is 5 and the youngest is 1 year and 2 months old. She is pregnant expecting a fourth child.

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