A 16-year-old student of Lomawai Secondary School is hoping and praying that her fisherman father, Anand Naidu, 42, is still alive. Daughter Neha Naidu could not control her tears yesterday. Mr Naidu of Lomolomo, Lautoka is still missing at sea since disappearing underwater on Sunday afternoon and this has been hard to take in considering she had lost her mum last year.
Neha is being adopted by Lomawai Primary School manager, Ravindra Mani, and his family. She cried almost every day while at school after her mum died and this was noticed by Mr Mani’s daughter and arrangements were made for her to stay with them. Neha’s dad, who re-married, was always close to her heart and she was at home yesterday trying to come to terms with the loss.
She said she was praying with all her heart that her dad was still alive somewhere. Mr Naidu went out net fishing on Sunday at 2pm with friends and neighbours, Rohit Kumar, 32 and Ashok Kumar, 5o. After casting their nets and catching some fish, the trio headed home.
According to Police and people in the area, there was a waterway crossing, which at low tide one could walk across but at high tide one would have to swim. Rohit Kumar said he and Ashok had started to cross with Naidu following from the back during which time the tide started coming in and the current was quite strong.
The only thing they heard were two calls for help from Mr Naidu and as they looked back they saw that he had slipped under the water and did not surface again.
Yesterday a neighbour, Farouk Mohammed, and 15 other people and five Police officers combed the area.
During low tide in the morning they scoured the edge of the reef and at high tide boats were used. “We searched all along the reef and out in the sea but did not find anything,” Mr Mohammed said.
The search continues today.