NZ Navy joins forces with Samoan authorities to help search for missing Kiwi sailor Joseph Tua

New Zealand sailor Joseph Tua is missing in Samoa. He was last seen on Saturday, April 29. Photo / Supplied
New Zealand sailor Joseph Tua is missing in Samoa. He was last seen on Saturday, April 29. Photo / Supplied

The Royal NZ Navy has joined forces with Samoan authorities as they continue to work to find missing Kiwi sailor Joseph Tua.

Just over two weeks have passed since the 24-year-old, also known as Kilino Tua, was last seen at one of the island nation's most idyllic attractions: To Sua Ocean Trench.

The trench features a natural 30m deep swimming hole accessed by ladder. Lush greenery surrounds it and on the other side, near the sea, are rock pools and blowholes.

A video posted by Tua to his SnapChat account shows images of rocks and wild surf. His belongings were also found by nearby lava pools.

Local police told the Samoa Observer newspaper this week that members of the NZ Navy had arrived on the island to continue to search for Tua, who is thought to have been struck by a rogue wave while out at the spot.

Members of Tua's family gave Navy volunteers their blessings as they joined local police efforts in the search for their son.

However, there is still no sign of him.

A spokesman for the NZ Defence Force confirmed several members of their staff had travelled to Samoa last week to help and offer support not only in the search but also to their colleague's extended family.

A family liaison officer was sent over specifically by the Royal NZ Navy, he said.

"This was to ensure the family were linked up with support from local authorities including the Samoan police - who are in charge of the search efforts - and the New Zealand High Commission.

"Last week, seven Devonport-based Navy personnel, who are friends of Joseph, took leave and travelled to Samoa privately to join in the search and provide support to Joseph's family."

All Navy personnel have since returned to New Zealand.

However, the family liaison officer is due to fly back to Samoa tomorrow.

- NZ Herald

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