Search resumes for Vavaʻu missing man

The search and recovery operation for Mr. Mailangi Vea of Fungamisi Vavaʻu  resumed this morning July 3.

The 45-year-old man was swept away by waves when the dinghy he was in capsized at about 2:30 pm July 2,  2016 in the island of Late.

A statement from Police said: “Neiafu Police SAR (Search and Rescue) boat ‘Kapakau ‘o Tafahi’ with 3 Police crews as well as a local boat with 5 divers are conducting the search.

“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.

“Police coordinated the rescue of the rest of Mr. Vea’s 3 crews as well as the 8 Digicel workers, with the help of a local boat that towed back Mr. Vea’s boat ‘The ‘Ilena’ to Neiafu last night.

“Police are also grateful for the assistance of the Digicel helicopter crew which assisted on the initial search yesterday and today as well.

“Since the launch of the 3 new police SAR boats in December 2015, police have saved 54 lives, and recovered 1 body from 14 Police SAR operations.

“Police Commissioner Stephen Caldwell emphasizes to mariners and seafarers of the importance of taking precautions and safety measures before embarking on their voyages. To make sure that they have a communication means, life jacket, emergency flares and a beacon”.

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