Tragedy at sea

TWO men are dead and another was missing at sea last night when the barge they were travelling in to Yasawa Island capsized yesterday morning.

Villagers said the bodies of the two men were found washed up on the beach near Dalomo Village on Yasawa Island.

The men were passengers on board the Kaiwai, which capsized en route to the northern end of Yasawa Island.

At 3pm yesterday, police confirmed there was one passenger still missing at sea and a search was in progress. The barge is believed to have been transporting building materials for a resort under construction at the northern end of the island.

Yasawa district representative Siona Ratulevu said one of the men found was a foreigner believed to be working on the resort construction site.

“There were eight crew members and four passengers on board the barge named Kaiwai,” he said.

“All crew members including the captain made it to shore at Logani beach,” he said.

“There were four passengers, one made it to shore alive, two washed up to shore dead and one is still missing at sea.”

He said three survivors were being treated at Teci Village health centre while the others were transported to Logani.

“The crew and passengers were rescued from the waters,” he said.

“The barge had capsized on the passage between Dalomo and Logani which was quite near their destination.”

Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro said they could not draw assumptions on what caused the barge to sink.

“We cannot speculate on what led to the sinking of the barge and will be working on maritime reports with the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji,” she said.

She said investigations and the search for the missing person would continue.

The bodies of the two men were transported by helicopter to the Lautoka Hospital morgue yesterday.

“The barge had capsized on the passage between Dalomo and Logani which was quite near their destination,” Mr Ratulevu said.

Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro said they could not draw assumptions on what caused the barge to sink.

“We cannot speculate on what led to the sinking of the barge and will be working on maritime reports with the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji,” she said.

She said investigations and the search for the missing person would continue.

The bodies of the two men were transported by helicopter to the Lautoka Hospital morgue yesterday.

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