Fifteen year old Falefasa Mata’utia who was swept out in the rough seas of Vaitogi while swimming with his brother and friends on Thursday. The Marine Patrol Division began their search for him on Thursday and it was officially called off Sunday afternoon, with no sign of the young man. [Courtesy photo: from Falefasa’s family]

 An intelligent, clever, quiet, loving and unique person... these are some of the words Sa’o Mata’utia used describing her eldest son, 15-year old Falefasa Mata’utia who was swept out in rough seas along the Vaitogi coast last week Thursday.

The Marine Patrol Division with the Department of Public Safety called off their search Sunday afternoon after they had reached 72 hours without finding the body of Falefasa.

Commander of the Marine Patrol, Captain Tulele Laolagi told Samoa News the young boy was swimming with his brother and friends in Vaitogi when the incident occurred. Falefasa is from the village of Vaitogi.

The mother in tears told Samoa News, she was surprised and terrified upon receiving the news from her relatives that her son was out swimming Thursday afternoon and that he had been swept out in the rough currents.

She said Falefasa was attempting to save his little brother, 14-year old Lili’o, who was drowning — however Falefasa was swept out in the rough seas.

“Now he’s in God’s hands” said Mrs. Mata’utia.

The mother recalled that earlier in the day of the incident, she had a brief conversation with Falefasa about his PS3 game.

Mrs. Mata’utia said Falefasa just smiled when she told him his father Pu’ai Mata’utia had deleted the songs in it.

“That is all he did that morning, just smiled at me while he was sitting with his friends”.

The mother explained that she has, in the past, banned her children from swimming in Vaitogi, however “teenagers— they don’t listen,” she said.

Falefasa attended Kanana Fou High School and was to be a junior this coming school year.

“He’s a straight A student, a member of the National Honor Society and a member of the JROTC,” said his mother.

The eldest of seven children, with two sisters and four brothers, Falefasa would have celebrated his 16th birthday this September.

His was keen and passionate about JROCT, said his mother, who spoke of Falefasa’s desire to join the Air Force right out of High School.

Mrs. Mata’utia smiled saying that Falefasa wanted to enter the Air Force given the salary is much higher than other divisions of the military.

The mother told Samoa News about a previous incident where her son Falefasa saved his friend who was drowning. Mrs. Mata’utia said her son was a very quiet person who loved attending everything surrounding JROTC.

The mother who’s suffering for the loss of her son has advice to parents who have teenage children.

“Get on your knees, pray and fast for your teenage children, because no matter what you tell them to do, they will turn around and do the opposite.”

“Teenagers think they know it all, however they don’t know their actions will cost them everything,” said Mrs. Mata’utia.

“The pain is unbearable and I wish no other parent will ever have to go through what my husband and I are currently going through,” she told Samoa News.

 Samoa News also spoke to Sei Mata’utia, Falefasa’s aunty, who said her nephew is an unforgettable person.

“I drop him off to school every morning and all he talks about is JROCT and I can’t believe he’s gone,” she said.

Captain Laolagi told Samoa News yesterday since Falefasa was swept out to sea there has been no sign of him.

He said the Marine Patrol crew began their search after 4 p.m on Thursday and continued until Sunday afternoon, using marine patrol boats and jet skis during the search.

The Captain told Samoa News that the Angel Ring installed by the Rotary Club, saved the life of Falefasa’s brother. He said apparently someone tossed the Rotary Club's angel ring to Lili’o and he was able to make it safely back to shore using the floater.

Rotary Club of Pago Pago was proud to recognize that this Rotary Angel Ring was used to rescue a young boy from the rough waters off Vaitogi last week. Rotary pleads to the public not to remove these Angel Rings, especially in Utulei, because it saves lives and without it, a life may be lost. [courtesy photo]


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