Tongan boating tragedy victim turned fishing into ‘hobby’: son

Tevita Moeakiola wants to spend his leisure time going out fishing with friends to give him pleasure.

This was what his son Salesio Moeakiola shared with his friends following Tevita’s death on Sunday morning.

Salesio said there was enough food on the table for the Moeakiola family but his father enjoyed fishing as a hobby.

Tevita was out fishing at Bucklands Beach, Auckland with two others when “a big wave hit their boat” before it capsized, reported the NZ Herald.

It appeared that Tevita was struggling after having an injury immediately after the accident.

He “had urged his companions to save themselves while he swam back to their capsized boat”, the Herald reported his son as saying.

The other two men made it to shore and were reportedly treated for hypothermia.

The 51-year-old Tongan father was on his way back in when disaster struck about 8pm Saturday.

“He shouted to the two other guys and said he will swim back to the boat and that’s the last word they heard from my dad,” his son reportedly said.

The tragedy has left Tevita’s wife and her family devastated. His wife Paea’s kāinga said they have issued a short tribute to the “devoted and loving father”.

“So that was quite heartbreaking. We pray for you Paea,” A commenter on Facebook wrote.

“Tevita was a selfless individual who always gave up his time for church and kāinga. He was a devoted and loving father and was loved and respected by all who knew him”, one wrote.


Photo supplied  Caption: Tevita Moeakiola