Man swept away

Iona Nailumu rides on a tyre tube with friends as they try to cross a flooded river at Navala Village in Ba. Picture: REINAL CHAND

Iona Nailumu rides on a tyre tube with friends as they try to cross a flooded river at Navala Village in Ba. Picture: REINAL CHAND

MEN and youth of Navala Village in Ba spent all of yesterday searching for villager, Suluo Ratuba, who was swept away by strong currents while trying to cross the Yaloku bridge.

Farmer, Simi Nasauvou said Mr Ratuba, believed to be in his 60s, had accompanied a group of men to secure livestock.

He said it was raining heavily at the time.

According to Mr Nasauvou, the younger men told him to wait at a farmhouse because of the rising river level, but he wanted to return home to his family.

“They just crossed the flooded river with their tubes, and at one time, the boys said they were swimming together but then when they looked back, he was gone,” he said.

“I think he must have fallen off the tube.”

He described Mr Ratuba as a hardworking man.

Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Maretino Qiolevu confirmed the incident yesterday and said they were also part of the search party.