It was supposed to be a time of exchanging vows and coming together, but an Auckland man's trip to Fiji took a horrific turn when he lost his sister and father during Cyclone Josie as they drove to pick him up.

Mechanic Krishneel Goundar and his wife, Pavitra Goundar, arrived at Nadi Airport on Sunday expecting to be greeted by his two relatives -only to learn they had been swept away by a swollen river.

Krishneel's father, Veer Goundar, and his 25-year-old sister Shinal Mudliar were on their way to the airport when their vehicle was washed off the Tabarua Bridge, the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation reported.

"We're stuck in the river, please come quickly."


Those were the final words spoken by Mudliar as floods engulfed their vehicle, Asia Pacific Report said.

The pair left the house of Damodran Mudliar, Shinal's father-in-law, and about 15 minutes later she was calling for help.

"The rain was pouring and the wind was also quite strong, and when I got to the Uciwai Bridge at about 5.10am, I couldn't see anything," Damodran Mudliar said.

"My daughter-in-law's voice kept going round and round in my head and I got out of my car with a friend and we crossed to the bridge to try and look for them."

Mudliar said the current was strong which made the search difficult, Asia Pacific Report said.

"We kept looking for about half an hour and when the water level went down a little bit, I drove to Nawai Police Post and reported the matter."

Now, the newlywed couple have to lay to rest two family members instead of celebrating their love as they'd planned.

A Givealittle page has been set up for Krishneel Goundar to help recover some of the costs of the two funerals.


"Instead of exchanging vows and good vibes, it will be replaced by overwhelming sadness as the dead are laid to rest," wrote page creator and family friend Brett Horsfall, of Auckland.

"It's not fair that things aligned in a such way that this tragedy unfolded at a time that was supposed to be the happiest day in your life."

Money was already tight with the wedding so Horsfall hoped "people will come together to help relieve some of the financial pressure".

Funds would also go towards another wedding ceremony when the time was right.