Mailangi Vea’s body laid to rest

Hundreds of kāinga and family gathered at the Kalevalio cemetery in Fungamisi, Neiafu as the fata of Mailangi Vea who died while on a business mission to the island of Late, was carried to his  final resting place yesterday July 4.

His body was recovered by the Search and Recovery team at approximately 3:00 pm Sunday 3, a Police statement said.

“An inquest held on Monday 4th July determined that Mr. Vea died from drowning”, it said.

The burial ceremony proceeded immediately after the Digicel helicopter landed with the body in Neiafu, Vavaʻu, Vavaʻu Police Superindentend, Netane Falakiseni said.

The ceremony, which was led by Fr Lolesia Lākai and the Catholic congregation,  was conducted after several attempts to return Vea’s body on Sunday were unsuccessful due to bad weather.

“Mr. Vea was hired by Digicel Tonga to bring back 8 of their people to Neiafu who were working at Late Island for approximately 3 weeks”, a statement said.

The Fungamisi man was swept away by waves when the dinghy he was in capsized at approximately 2:30 pm July 2, 2016, it said.

A Police patrol boat and another boat belonging to the Beluga, a local company assisted in the recovery operation.

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