Survivor of Swimming Tragedy Lives to Tell the Story

When he realised that they were in trouble he chose to drift and let the ocean's pull take him out but he saw the others making the mistake of trying to fight the current.

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Police Officers preparing to make an arrest

Henry Sanele is the lone survivor of the tragic swimming incident that claimed the life of a father of five, Isaia Fogatia, while another man Va Tua Fonotoe, is still missing at sea.

Police and the Fire Emergency Services Authority have confirmed that the search for Va Tua has been officially called off.

The 18 year student of Anoamaa College told Samoa Global News that he and several of his friends were swimming last Thursday when they felt the under-current getting stronger.  He said that they had been mucking about in the ocean, floating on a log, not noticing that with high tide, the current was pulling them out to sea.

When he realised that they were in trouble he chose to drift and let the ocean’s pull take him out but he saw the others making the mistake of trying to fight the current.

“Ua malosi kele le kakafe ma le aave o le kai, ou faakafea loa. Ou ke vaai aku i leisi au alii o la e kaumafai lava e aau ese.”

He said that he was then struck by a wave, and fell unconscious. He added that by the grace of God, when he came to, he was floating in shallow waters.”

“Faafekai lava i Le Alii, ou ke koe ke’i age, ua ou koe oo mai i le mea papau.”

Henry Sanele says that he feels sorry for the deceased man, Isaia Fogatia, because he is a father of five.

He told Samoa Global News that the incident has been a life-changing experience for him, and that it would be a long time before he would get the confidence to go back into the water.

“Ga o lo’u evaeva lava ii i le makafaga, ae ou ke le koe fia kaale i se sami.”