A mother and a son watched in horror while a husband and father drowned in the sea at Vaipua yesterday Monday 19 at about 4pm, Vava’u Police said.
Tevita Seluini Tu’itupou, 55, of Taoa, Vava’u and Tofoa, Tongatapu was believed to have died shortly after he found himself in difficulty when he swam to rescue his wife Tupou Tu’itupou and son Kulu Tu’itupou.
Tevita was already in the water when he invited his wife and their son to jump in and swim with him, Police Superintendent in Vava’u, Netane Falakiseni told Kaniva News
The duo came down to the water while Tevita was waiting for them but they missed him in a move Police believed they were caught by a rip.
Vaipua water is notoriously dangerous and known for its strong rip current.
Police said there is a warning sign at the beach alerting swimmers about the danger they would encounter if they swim at Vaipua water.
As Tevita struggled to get to his wife and his son he was overcome with exhaustion and eventually died.
Superindentend Falakiseni said a post mortem was carried out today and his body would be returned to Tofoa tomorrow.
The dad man was a civil servant working as a clerk at Tonga’s Retirement Fund Board.