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Dad dies trying to save drowning son

Maciu Malo
Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A BA family is still trying to come to terms with the sudden loss of their father who drowned on Monday night.

Sukeshwar Bir, 44, died trying to save his son Niteshwar Bir, 22, from drowning at the Karavi floodgate.

Speaking to The Fiji Times yesterday, an emotional Mr Niteshwar said the untimely death of his dad and the sacrifice he made was something he would never forget for the rest of his life.

Mr Niteshwar said his challenge now was to shoulder the task of carrying on his dad's responsibilities in looking after two younger siblings and their mother.

Describing the fateful fishing trip, he said his father sacrificed his life to save him.

"I was with my parents, fishing on Monday afternoon around 8.30am when the incident occurred," he said.

"My dad was standing at the river bank with my mum as I took the net into the water. I got caught in the current and because I could not swim, I started to drown," he said.

"My dad noticed my struggles and without thinking twice, he jumped in.

"That was the last time I saw him alive. I think the shock of what was happening to me may have caused a heart attack.

"My mum put out a long branch for me to hold on to and at the same time I tried to drag my dad ashore but it was too late."

Mr Niteshwar said he never imagined his dad would leave them so early without saying goodbye.

Police spokesman Inspector Atunaisa Sokomuri said the drowning toll now stood at 52 compared to 25 in the same period last year.

He urged those who could not swim to stay clear of rivers, creeks and deep seafronts.


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