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Fijian, 26, missing at sea off Port Moresby

Vishaal Kumar
Monday, June 12, 2017

THE last time Jagdish Chand spoke to his youngest son was when he was arranging tickets to return to Fiji from Papua New Guinea.

Yesterday, Mr Chand was trying to come to terms with the news that his 26-year-old son, Kapil Chand, who was on an official trip to PNG, was missing at sea off Port Moresby.

Mr Chand who is an employee of KPMG Suva branch, was part of a five-member group that left for a fishing trip early Saturday morning.

According to Mr Chand's father, his son last contacted the family around 6am on Saturday .

"He called my daughter-in-law and spoke to her and me. He said he was going fishing with some of his friends. He said it was a new boat and they would go out and come back," Mr Chand said.

"I advised him to be careful and be vigilant since he had a bad fishing experience when he was in the Solomon Islands."

Mr Chand revealed that his son went to Papua New Guinea for work commitments and he was expected to return this week to Fiji.

"He was making ticket arrangements to come back next week Tuesday or Thursday depending on the availability of flights. Now this has happened just days away from his return. It is so sad. The whole family is worried about his welfare and whereabouts," he said.

Mr Chand said his wife and daughter-in-law were too distraught to talk about the incident and they were praying that Kapil would be found and returned home safely.

He also highlighted that the family was first informed about his son's disappearance at sea by one of his workmates.

"One of his workmates called us and then informed the family as to what had happened. Members of the company came to us and then reassured us that they were working closely with the partners in Australia in conducting the search and rescue operations," Mr Chand said.

It is understood that authorities in PNG have initiated a search and rescue mission.

This newspaper was informed by the PNG police that due to a public holiday in the country yesterday, details of the Fijian national could not be released.

Several attempts to contact the Fijian High Commission in PNG yesterday remained unsuccessful.

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