DPS Marine Patrol searching for missing fisherman near Afonotele
On the heels of a still missing fifteen year old, Falefasa Mata’utia, who was swept out in rough seas along the Vaitogi coast last week, the Marine Patrol officers and firemen are currently scouring the seas of Afonotele and Vatia looking for the body of a man who went fishing Monday afternoon and as of yesterday afternoon, has not been found.
Commander of the Marine Patrol division, Captain Tulele Laolagi told Samoa News there are 17 police officers and firemen searching for Lauina Mala.
The Captain said Mala was fishing with two other men however, he left them to come ashore while the others remained fishing.
Laolagi said when the other men came to shore, they did not see Mala’s shoes where he had left them; and they immediately thought Mala had gone home. However they were surprised when Mala’s wife asked them for the whereabouts of her husband.
Captain Laolagi said DPS Marine Patrol boats and jet skis are being used in the search, and divers have conducted an underwater search since Monday. However, up to yesterday afternoon, there has been no sign of the missing fisherman.
Laolagi said Mala is a 44-year old man from Samoa who works for the Starkist cannery. He is married to an Afonotele woman and they have a son.
In the case of Mata’utia, the Marine Patrol Division with the Department of Public Safety called off their search Sunday afternoon after they had reached 72 hours without finding his body_.