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By Otilly Rabuku

SUVA, Fiji (FijiSUN, Jan. 5) - Some knowledge and the determination of a father spared the life of his son after a shark attack in Fiji waters.

Sixteen-year-old Mosese Kaniaruarua of Yasawa-i-Rara had his arm bitten by a tiger shark while scuba diving with his older brother, Kelevi Nabanivalu Junior, on New Year’s Eve in Vomo waters.

He looked relieved and relaxed at the Lautoka Hospital yesterday after an operation on Saturday afternoon.

The family had spent Christmas with relatives in Lautoka and the two brothers and their father, Kelevi Nabanivalu senior, decided to go fishing for their New Year lunch. 

They left Lautoka Wharf and headed off to dive outside the reefs at the Vomo waters. 

Kaniaruarua clearly recalls the incident and said that since his older brother was not close to him, he managed to surface and alert his father. He was also equipped with some knowledge, as he had already completed an Open Water Diving course last year.

"I tried my best to remain calm but it was determination and courage that helped me a lot while under the water with the shark.

"At about 11.30 a.m. my two sons went down while I sat in our boat. After three minutes he (Mosese) saw a fish and while trying to shoot it, he noticed a shadow from his side and by the time he could react it was too late as the shark had bitten him," his father said.

"This is the second time I have saved someone attacked by a shark so I knew what to do. The first incident was in the village nine years ago and this happened very far from the mainland, but I tried my best to reduce blood loss till we reached Lautoka. I guess that knowledge really helped a lot for me this time," Mr Nabanivalu said.

"At that time we went free water diving and I was with my mate in the water when he was bitten. His arms were both badly bitten and I had to fight the shark all the way to the surface as it kept attacking us, and I did this till we got help. 

"When my son was attacked, I stayed calm and knew exactly what to do. I tied up his arm with a piece of cloth to hold back the excessive bleeding and we had to wait for about 20 minutes till my older son resurfaced.

It took the family another 20 minutes to reach the Lautoka Wharf before he was taken to the Lautoka Hospital. He is now recovering well and is looking forward to getting back to the waters after returning to his village.

January 5, 2004



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