The 31-year-old man who was swept out to sea while fishing in Faleasao last week has been identified as Kupa Leo.
Police in Ta’u say Kupa was fishing with two other men last Monday, not Tuesday as reported earlier, when a wave swept him off his feet and into the ocean in rough seas associated with Tropical Storm Ula.
Kupa was an employee of McConnell Dowell from Tutuila who had gone to Manu’a to spend the holidays with his wife’s family while the construction company was closed.
According to police in Ta’u, they put together a search mission for Kupa late Monday afternoon however they didn’t get very far because the seas were dangerous.
The search was called off after 72 hours without a sign of the missing man.
Project Manager for McConnell Dowell Stuart Pilat said it was a sad tragedy.
He said Kuka was with McConnell for 18 months and was an exemplary employee who was considered key to their operations.
“Kupa was a well-respected member of our team and he had the ability to lead teams and get things done,” said Pilat.
McConnell is working with Kupa’s wife and offering support to her and their three young children during this difficult time.