Central Leader : December 3rd 2010
www.centralleader.co.nz Friday, December 3, 2010 Dad grieves quiet lad Family loss: A Mt Roskill family is grieving for the loss of Raphael Alualu, who died on Tuesday after leaping off a cliff into a quarry lake which borders Lake Pupuke in Takapuna. Pictured is Raphael's father Alo Alualu with a photo of his 17-year-old son. Photo: JASON OXENHAM By RHIANNON HORRELL and SARAH CODDINGTON THE Mt Roskill community is mourning the loss of one of its youngsters after a tragic death this week. Raphael Alualu, 17, drowned in the North Shore's Quarry Lake after jumping from cliffs above the popular spot on Tuesday afternoon. The young man's relatives, including his sister and dad, were at the scene when divers found his body just before 11am on Wednesday. Raphael's mum is in Samoa visiting her sick father and will fly home as soon as poss- ible to be with family. His sister Joanne, 21, says her brother was a good, quiet person, with an adventurous spirit. Members of Raphael's fam- ily were gathered at the Mt Roskill home yesterday, where his father Alo was tearful and subdued. The teenager's godfather Raphael Lautua says his namesake was a quiet lad'' who kept to himself and to his friends. Mr Lautua thanks those who attempted to rescue Raphael. A couple of them tried to help him to swim but he was a big boy. They couldn't hold him much longer.'' He says those holding him were other boys that Raphael went to school with. Raphael attended Mt Ros- kill Grammar School in 2007 and 2008 and later went to Marcellin College. Mt Roskill Grammar prin- cipal Greg Watson says there is great sadness among staff. Raphael was a cheerful and co-operative student. He was a polite and capable young man and an imposing athlete. Our thoughts and prayers are with Raphael's mum and dad.'' A group of girls swimming at the lake when the incident happened saved Raphael's friend from drowning. The Westlake Girls High students were taking turns jumping off the cliff near North Shore Squash Club at the same time as the boys. Raphael was jumping from the cliff's highest point with other students from a youth programme at the School of Business in Newmarket on a supervised outing. They jumped and about a minute after surfaced and he just disappeared,'' Eryn Crombie, 15, says. The girls say it was silent and really scary'' before Rap- hael's friend surfaced, gasping for air and screaming for help. The injured teen's friends searched for Raphael for about half an hour, the girls say. He was just screaming: Someone help me' and was searching for him,'' Eryn's friend Louise Parker, 16, says. The water was so green you couldn't see your body.'' The girl's friends Jemma Western, 16, and Tessa Pitney, 15, helped Raphael's friend float back to shore where he was found to have back injuries. Eryn had meanwhile jumped from the same point just moments after the boys, and injured her neck when she landed on her back. Her friends, including Amie Sisson, 16, a surf life- saver, brought her to shore where she was taken by ambulance to North Shore Hospital. She is now at home wear- ing a neck brace.
December 1st 2010
December 8th 2010