A father who drowned trying to save his son from a rip current has been hailed as hero as tributes flow in.
Faasila Tali Fatafehi was on a community picnic with his family where tragedy struck at Tongatapu’s White Sands Beach.
As we reported yesterday, the picnic took a dangerous turn after his son found himself caught in a rip current. Fatafehi jumped into action and his son was rescued.
Despite efforts of first responders, Fatafehi died at the scene.
As stunned friends and kāinga come to terms with the tragedy, his devastated family this morning released a video showing how a beach outing ended up claiming their father’s life.
Tributes posted on Facebook are describing his final moments as heroic.
“Oh dear father we cannot withstand seeing you struggling at sea please talk to us look at our mum and my brothers dad when we were hungry you fed us we love you so much,” a tribute appeared to have come from one of her daughters said in Tongan.
“He drowned yesterday a hero, whilst saving one of his children”, another wrote.
“RIP Fatafehi, you were one terrific guy who was well respected in our community.”
“It’s a pity to see your wife crying Faasala Tali Fatafehi she did not expect this is your last day. My deepest Condolences to this family,”