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Man, 76, honoured to contribute

Luke Rawalai
Friday, March 02, 2018

AT the age of 76, Meliki Radaiga is proud he did his best to contribute to the successful location of the missing Cessna 172 aircraft at the Delaikoro mountain range.

The Vunikawakawa native led a search party of about 10 youths from his village on Wednesday morning through the forests of Naketei, off Nasaqa Village about 10 kilometres away from his home.

Mr Radaiga said they started their search at 8am after they were requested by Dogoru Village headman Semi Radradra to assist with the main search that was taking place in the forests of Dogoru.

"We had to go through the thick forests and the mountains below Delaikoro are full of thick bushes and tree canopies," he said.

"I decided to join the search because I felt that it was my duty as part of the community to help in a time of need.

"I was also touched by stories because I heard in the media regarding the families of the two crash victims who were still awaiting news about their whereabouts.

"It is an honour to have been part of this search."

Mr Radaiga and his team had to be called back from their search after they were informed by Mr Radradra at between 12 midnight and 1pm that the rescue team had located the missing aircraft.

"I hope that the little that we did would now give some peace of heart to the family of Iliesa Tawalo and Merelesita Lutu," he said.

"I feel sorry for the two deceased since they were still young and had a promising future before them.

"The location of the aircraft would now put an end to the searches and as villagers we are content that the missing aircraft has been found."

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