A seven-year-old boy is supposed to be dead after falling off a ferry while on a family vacation to the Cook Islands.
Tutteto Junior Lapana Tupou, from South Auckland, was missing on September 18 while traveling from Rakahanga to Rarotonga with the local ship Lady Moana.
Lapana was last seen on board around 2 p.m. and a search to find the young passenger was quickly launched.
Tutteto Junior Lapana Tupou, 7, is believed to be dead after dumping a ferry during a family's dream vacation to the Cook Islands
There were 16 local boats sailing the ocean between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Cook Islands News reported.
Air Rarotanga and police patrol ship Te Kukupa assisted in the search, but could not find any trace of the child.
The probe was scaled back before the police stopped the search last Friday.
Red Cross president Retire Puapii organized prayers of support on the island for Lapana & # 39; s father Junior Tupou.
& # 39; It is heartbreaking, we hold this special support prayer with the Te Fuinga O Niva (Rakahanga / Manihiki) community on the island, & # 39; said Puapii.
& # 39; He knows he has shoulders to lean on. & # 39;
The schoolboy from South Auckland was missing while traveling from Rakahanga to Rarotonga on local ship Lady Moana on Wednesday, September 18
Lapana grew up in New Zealand, but visited his family's home island, Rakahanga, when the tragedy struck.
Junior Tupou said his son did not want to leave the Cook Islands because New Zealand & # 39; too cold & # 39; used to be.
While the family faced the loss, Mr. Tupou remembered Lapana in his last days.
& # 39; Every day was about fishing, being on the beach, freedom and enjoying as a child, & # 39; Mr. Tupou said.
The father added that Lapana has tried paua, crayfish and coconuts during the small atoll of 83 people, according to their last census.
A Give a little bit page was created on behalf of the immediate family of Lapana, to raise money for his funeral service.
Lapana grew up in New Zealand, but visited his family's home island – Rakahanga – when the tragedy struck (stock image of the Cook Islands)
& # 39; Junior and Matapo Tupou (parents of Lapana) and all extended families would like to express their sincere appreciation to everyone involved in rescue efforts, & # 39; read the page.
& # 39; We are always grateful.
& # 39; Now Junior and Matapo, their children and all their families are left behind to continue arranging funerals.
& # 39; I am asking for a contribution on their behalf to relieve some of their financial burden to help them with this difficult task of mourning and grieving for their son.
& # 39; Their hearts and love for their prince Lapana were pure and true. We will continue to pray for his return home. & # 39;
Lapana's father said the schoolboy tried paua, crayfish and coconuts while staying on the small atoll of 83 people, according to their last count. Pictured: Lady Moana
The page raised more than $ 1,200.
The maker, cousin Monovai Melanie Arai, thanked those who had donated in an update.
& # 39; I want to personally thank everyone who has donated to this goal and appreciate all the love from everywhere, & # 39; she wrote.
& # 39; Although the hope for Lapana's return is strong, as are our prayers, it is reassuring that family, friends and the community all over the Pacific have had great support for the grieving family in recent weeks.
& # 39; Bless everyone, we will always pray that Lapana returns home. & # 39;
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