Rescue Teams Recover Bodies of Father and Son who fell off Tiapapata Cliffs

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A search and rescue operation worked into the night until the bodies of a father and his son were located in the early hours of this morning below steep mountainous terrain in Tiapapata.

Police Commissioner Su’a Fuiavailiili Egon says they despatched a police rescue team to assist the Fire and Emergency Services Authority (FESA) when alerted of the tragic incident yesterday afternoon.

“Police and FESA completed the recovery efforts at 3am this morning, recovering the bodies of one adult and one child, who fell off a cliff at Tiapapata yesterday”.

“We received the call around 1pm yesterday, at about the same time as we were alerted about the incident at Neiafu, also involving a father and son“, added Su’a.

Assistant Chief Executive Officer of FESA Tanuvasa Petone Mauga said the bodies were found deep into the valley.

“We lowered a specialist rescue team into a very steep valley and they were down there for close to six hours before they ascended, having located the bodies”, said Tanuvasa.

Police and FESA recovered the bodies at 3am this morning.

Families posting messages of condolences on social media say the father is Mr Tufa Fatu, survived by his wife Uatifoti Fatu.