Teacher missing at sea after boat capsizes

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Missing teacher Meang Taitai.

A teacher from Kauma Adventist High School, Kiribati, is missing at sea after his boat capsized on Wednesday afternoon.

Meang Taitai (Obeira) and fisherman Marae Marietoa were trolling off the reef of the island of Abemama when their fibreglass boat was caught by a huge wave and capsized.

“In their struggle to battle the waves and strong current, Marae managed to allow the waves to carry him to the shore where he was helped by some workers from the other secondary school near the airport,” Kauma principal Tekemau Ribabaiti said in an email.

Mr Ribabaiti said a number of Kauma students and teachers have been involved in the search for Mr Taitai.

“Last night [Wednesday] the boys and teachers scoured the beach at the eastern side of the island from where [the men] were believed to [have] encountered the tragedy, right down to the northern end of Abemama, without success,” he said.

“Early this morning [Thursday] the boys were asked again to search the same area in case Meang might show up on the beach. Unfortunately, the boat was found by the village people this morning, still capsized, but Meang was nowhere to be found.”

Mr Ribabaiti has asked for prayers for Mr Taitai, his wife Ana and their three children. One of the children lives in Queensland, Australia, and another is studying at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji.