Young drowning victim remembered

By Hana Garrett-Walker

Photo / File
Photo / File

A 16-year-old Christchurch boy who drowned at Lake Pegasus north of Christchurch has been remembered as an active Year 11 student who was a keen rugby, basketball and volleyball player.

Tominiko Junior Pelenato had been swimming with friends at the artificial lake when he disappeared shortly after midday yesterday.

His body was found a short time later.

Tominiko, who had just completed Year 11 at Catholic Cathedral College in central Christchurch, was remembered by his school principal Bruce Henley as an active, friendly student who always wore his school uniform with pride.

"He's pretty active, sporting wise. He played a lot of rugby, I understand he had a bit of an injury earlier this year.

"He was also in the basketball team and volleyball teams at school."

Mr Henley said he visited Tominiko's shocked family this morning.

Although the school had closed for the year, a special meeting would be held there tomorrow for students.

"Some of the them will just want to talk, others will need a lot of support. We'll have the councillor there, and a number of other people too to help the kids," Mr Henley said.

Everyone was rallying around and the school was collecting donations to help the family with funeral costs, he said.

"He was so well liked...people [are] rallying around at these times and you find people do special things, this will be like that tomorrow for the children."

More than 600 people have already liked a Facebook page set up in tribute to the popular student, with many simply leaving a heart on the page.

Arana-Maia Gillett said "Too early uce rest easy".

Daniel Ta'ase said Tominiko's death came as a massive shock to him and Tominiko's cousin, Maria, in Sydney.

"You'll always be remembered by me as the quiet, smiling, respectful, always watching, & helpful right hand man to the greatest guy on earth in your dad."

Tominiko's death has been referred to the coroner.

- APNZ

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