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Toddler Left Alone On Boat's Deck Drowns -- While Parents Made Dinner

13-Month-Old Drowns After Parents Left Her Unsupervised In A Harness On Catamaran Deck While They Cooked Dinner

A 13-month-old has sadly lost her life after falling from a catamaran and drowning. How could this happen? Her parents, it seems, were not there to see. No one was.

New Zealand natives Mark and Kiri Toki were on a Fiji getaway with their little girl, Māhina, the NZ Herald reported over the weekend. The parents had docked their nearly 33-foot catamaran, Kalamari, in Musket Cove in western Fiji Friday, after arriving from their home of Great Barrier Island, New Zealand. The outlet cited a police spokeswoman who claimed the child was strapped to the boat’s deck in a harness to watch a movie while her parents stepped away to cook dinner. Sadly, though, when they returned, their little angel was nowhere in sight.

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A frantic search was immediately launched, but the toddler was devastatingly found floating in the water.

How absolutely heartbreaking. We can’t even begin to imagine how those parents must feel… What sounds like it should have been a beautiful vacation, ended in complete and utter tragedy.

The little girl is believed to have “worked free” from her harness before plummeting overboard. Crucially, at the time she was tethered — but not supervised. No one realized until it was far too late that she could get free. When she was discovered, a large party, which included doctors and other medical professionals, attempted to resuscitate her, but sadly, she was gone.

Musket Cove Resort manager Joe Mar told the NZ Herald Sunday that the whole island was in shock after the failed attempt to “revive” the little one:

“The family rushed into shore to seek help and a lot of people rushed to their aid, but unfortunately couldn’t revive her.”

He added that since the incident on Friday, Mark and Kiri have moved inland to Denarau, where they are cooperating with a police investigation.

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In a GiveALittle page (a NZ-specific crowdfunding site) set up to raise money for funeral expenses, family friend Grace Palos somberly shared that “By the time we could find her, it was too late.” Māhina is being remembered on the page as a “beautiful, happy, smiling child who loved the water and life on the boat.” She added:

“Her mother, Kiri, said she had eyes that looked into your soul from the [day] she was born.”

While the page is private, as of Monday, the New York Post reported that it had already raised over $18,000. Palos added:

“Mahina’s parents, Mark and Kiri, are in the process of picking up their lives and traveling back to their home of Great Barrier Island, New Zealand.”

She concluded:

“To the beloved Māhina, may you forever live in peace, splashing with joy somewhere in the sea.”

Such an unthinkable tragedy — and one which sadly was so preventable. Rest in peace, Māhina.

[Image via Grace Palos/GiveALittle]

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Aug 01, 2023 16:36pm PDT