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Ka‘u drowning victims mourned

Friends and family of two Kailua-Kona men who apparently drowned late Friday night in Ka‘u took to social media to express their condolences.

According to police, 42-year-old Patrick Fuga of Holualoa fell into the ocean while fishing along the remote shoreline at the end of the Road to the Sea in Ocean View.

Bystanders and family members entered the water and attempted to rescue Fuga. One would-be rescuer, 39-year-old Petelo “Lo” Finau of Kailua-Kona, was swept further out to sea.

Both Fuga and Finau reportedly drowned. Their bodies were spotted early Saturday morning by a Coast Guard helicopter.

“Foul play is not suspected,” said police Capt. Miles Chong, commanding officer of Ka‘u Patrol Division.

Chong said he didn’t know if Fuga and Finau were acquainted, adding, “There were several families down there.”

At least three others who entered the water managed to make it back to shore.

Using social media, friends and family of both men expressed their grief and conveyed condolences.

“I will miss you Uso Pat Fuga,” Kona singer-guitarist L.T. Smooth posted on Facebook, using the Samoan word for brother. “Rest In Peace safe journey. Love you brother.”

Another individual sending condolences to Fuga’s family said his kids meant everything to him.

“I’m grateful I got to talk to you hours before and your last words to me I will cherish forever. You left a big “sole” footprint on my heart. You are “Ridin with the Lord,” the post said.

“I love you my brother Pat Fuga,” said a third person. “I’m going to miss you every … You are definitely missed and loved every day. I’m going to miss our talks every week. But you will never be forgotten in my heart.”

Social media posters also remembered Finau, with one asking “why did you have to go so soon?”

Many of the condolences to Finau were written in Tongan. One who wrote in English expressed sadness “to learn the loss of our family member.”

“Petelo and his siblings also the parents has been a big part of my life when I was in Tonga. Still remember going over to their house on the weekend and spend time together. Teach me Tongan, show me where I grew up, teach me about Tongan culture etc.,” the poster wrote.

Police have opened a coroner’s inquest and have ordered autopsies of both men to determine the cause of death.

Witnesses are asked to call the police nonemergency number at 935-3311 or Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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