FIVE-year-old Abdul Razaak has been making frequent trips to Naitonitoni Beach to sort through the debris, hoping to find anything that could tell him about his father, Abdul Imraz, who has been missing at sea since Thursday afternoon.
The little boy is being helped by his grandfather Abdul Karim as they continue to hope that no misfortune has befallen Mr Imraz
Since Friday, Abdul and Mr Karim, 55, have made two trips to the beach — one in the morning and another after lunch as they remain hopeful that Mr Imraz, 29, would be found. "My mother wanted to start the prayers for the funeral but I said no," said Abdul Feroz, Mr Imraz's older brother.
"We have to remain positive, my brother, Abdul's father is still out there.
"Abdul is so young but he is very mature for his age. He knows his father is missing and he insists he goes with his grandfather to the beach to keep looking."
On Thursday at 2pm, Mr Imraz convinced two of his friends to take him with them on a fishing trip. The friends disagreed because Mr Imraz did not have any bait. But he insisted he could fish for his bait out at sea. They then took a small boat.
According to the men, a wave hit the boat and water rushed in, sinking it four kilometres from Toguru Beach. Their efforts to bail water proved futile as another wave hit the boat capsizing it.
They said Mr Imraz was in shock and could not move. He was told to hold onto an ice box while the two swam ashore to get help. The first man swam ashore at 8:30pm while the other arrived half an hour later.
"All we have to go by is what they are saying. We have no idea what else might have happened out there," Mr Feroz said.
He said his brother began fishing again three months ago after recovering from a leg operation he underwent last year.
"The last time I saw my brother was on Sunday, three days before he went missing.
"He was complaining about his leg, saying it was sore. When I checked it, I saw that it was badly infected and there was pus coming out. When he went fishing last Thursday he was limping, he shouldn't have gone out. He should have just stayed home."
Mr Feroz said while they wanted his brother found alive, they were prepared for the worst.
"He might not be alive and we will accept this. We just want his body so we can bury him and say our goodbyes," he said.
According to Mr Feroz, Mr Imraz was a reserved and reliable man. He used to sell fish and chips at Navua bus stand but had to stay home following his leg operation.
Even while recovering, Mr Feroz said his brother used to help out around the house fixing things.
While the police and the navy continue their search for Mr Imraz, Mr Feroz and his family too have been conducting their own search, hiring boats every day.
"We have to do what we can to find him. If it means spending money for boat fuel and missing work to look for him then we will do it. This is our brother, father, son and friend - we cannot give up hope yet."