Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Fai Cousin Pays Tribute to Lifesaving Warrior

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Fai Cousin Pays Tribute to Lifesaving Warrior

Article excerpt

A COUSIN of Sonny Fai has spoken of how the New Zealand Warriors player saved him and other family members from an ocean rip before disappearing in the surf.

Fai, 20, pictured below, disappeared off Bethells Beach near Auckland late last Sunday after going to the aid of family who got into trouble in the surf.

Cousin James Kaisarika, 24, from Sydney, was among a group including Fai's brother Gillesbie, 13, James's brother Tom, 16, cousin Lafoga Faraimo, 21, and Lafoga's brother Tone, 19, who went to the beach to join in training with Fai.

After training in the sand dunes, the group ended up in the surf with Fai, who had a lifesaving flotation aid.

"We were just trying to catch some waves, and then it started getting deeper and deeper," Kaisarika said. "Sonny was saying to us he could feel the rip was taking us in. He was telling us to go back ... to get out.

"We turned around but it was too late, we were getting sucked out."

He said Fai and Tom made it out, but returned to the surf when they realised the others were still in trouble. …

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