Kelekolio Latu. Photo Facebook
A New Zealand father of two has drowned in Australia
while trying to save his daughter and a nephew in trouble on a
Kelekolio Latu's body was found by search and rescue police
in north Victoria's Narre Warren Lake after the accident on
Sunday, local media reported.
Mr Latu had gone to the rescue of his 11-year-old daughter
Theresa and 12-year-old nephew who were in trouble in a
dinghy on the lake in Lysterfield Lake Park.
His wife, Manu Latu, told the Berwick Leader newspaper her
husband would be remembered as a hero.
The pair had moved from New Zealand to Australia nearly four
years ago "because he wanted to see if we could have a better
It was the family's first visit to the lake as a treat after
"It was a very happy day for him".
"He wanted to go and take the kids and his nieces and
The family had been at the lake for barely 25 minutes when
the children got into trouble and he went to their rescue.
While he could swim, her husband struggled in the water and
attempts by friends to pull him from the lake failed, she
told the newspaper.
After an agonising wait, search and rescue police found his
body several hours later.
Mrs Latu said they were struggling to come to terms with her
She planned to change her 1-year-old son's name from Pita to
her husband's name, "because he reminds us of him".
Friends and family have posted messages of support on
"Your life is a blessing. Your memory is a treasure. We love
you beyond words and miss you beyond measure! Rest in peace
kelekolio latu you will be forever in our hearts," wrote Rina
Arrangements were being made for family and friends to travel
from New Zealand for the funeral.