Two adults and 7 year old child drown in swimming tragedy

The tranquil surroundings of the area where three drowned while swimming at the Mulinu’u peninsula

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA: MONDAY 28 DECEMBER 2015: A family’s day at the beach ended tragically when a young couple and a 7 year old  boy drowned while swimming at Mulinu’u.

The incident happened at around 4.35pm on Saturday 26 December 2015 behind the Marine School of Training & Research Ocean Campus.

The couple and 4 children were swimming in an area considered to be very dangerous close to where the maritime school mini wharf for training is located.

Two of the children were the woman’s children from another  relationship,  and the other 2 children were her partner’s relatives.

The casualties included the young  woman and her 7 year old son, and the woman’s partner. Her other  5 year old son was rescued by the quick action of police officer Corporal Alesana Ieremia who was in the area at the time.

Police Assistant Commissioner  Fauono Talalelei Tapu confirmed the incident and the number of casualties but referred the matter to the police Commissioner and the police report.

The Police report stated that Corporal Ieremia was on patrol around Mulinu’u area  came across the incident and called the office for help.

A rescue team from the Fire Emergency Services Authority (FESA) were also called in to assist.

Corporal Ieremia did not wait for backup but proceeded to help the couple and managed to save one of the children but he himself was struggling, according to the report.

By the time the recuse team arrived in a rubber boat, Corporal Ieremia was struggling to bring the young boy to shore.

The report also stated that Corporal Ieremia was also fighting for his life as he took in much water, and the quick action by the medical team  at Tupua Tamasese Meaole hospital  saved his life.

Two other officers were also treated and discharged on Saturday, but Corporal Ieremia remains hospitalized for observation.

The father of the young deceased boy was at the police station today to sign papers against any post mortem on his son.

Speaking to the media today, he said his sons  are his life and everything he does, is for their future, and he only knew of the incident on Sunday morning.

On Christmas day, the father dropped off his children to be with their mother for the weekend and on Saturday 26th December 2015,  he called the children’s mother but could not get through.

On Sunday morning, he went to his parents place at Vailu’utai to pick up a relative to be dropped off  at the Faleolo Airport, however, there was a mix up of the departure time, so he returned to Vailu’utai.

While at Vailu’utai, a relative called telling them to check the face book where photos and information of his children’s incident were splashed all over it.

He said his mind was blank as he rushed to the police station in Apia asking for permission to see his children.

He has so many questions that need answers but his focus is now on his 5 year old son under medical treatment.

He said his son is given an injection after every 6 hour since the incident and he prays, the incident will not  have any lasting effect on him.

The father also went to thank Corporal Ieremia for risking his life to save his son.