Tongatapu father dies after saving son from rip current

    A Tongatapu father has died today after trying to save his son who was swept out to sea at White Sands Beach in Hihifo.

    Photo/ Facebook

    The boy was rescued and saved but unfortunately for his dad he could not make it and died shortly after the rescue mission.

    Following the incident, a report on Facebook by the Ha’atafu Beach Resort said there was one “fatality and 2 rescued alive”.

    “Thank you and God’s blessings to our brave rescue team, Mino, Ifa and Setitaia Chen for your bravery and your hearts helping out today. Our prayers are with the family that today has lost a husband, father, uncle, son and dearly loved man. He died saving lives…what a hero”.

    The victim’s family appeared to be part of a large family group enjoying a day at the beach.

    Locals said the beach was notorious for its powerful rip currents and waves that are known to sweep people out to sea.

    It is unclear whether there was a public notice board at the beach to warn people of the rip currents or not.

    Police earlier today warned the public on its official Facebook page to be cautious when going out to seas.

    “With more people spending time on our beaches on these hot summer days please take extra care out there. Stay safe Tonga”.

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