Stories From Kiribati

A place where we could add stories and photos related to Kiribati!

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An interview with two of the survivors of MV Butiraoi

Posted by Amota Eromanga on June 25, 2019 at 10:05 AM Comments comments (0)

The sea disaster MV Butiraoi and its passengers had gone through is one of the worst ocean accidents to have happened in the waters of Kiribati. It indeed had taken the lives of 81 citizens that included olds and children. MV Butiraoi is a 17.5 meters long wooden ferry and prior to the disaster, it had been one of the vessels used for marine transportation within the islands of Kiribati.


The accident occurred on the 18th January, 2018, while the ferry was returning to Tarawa from N...

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Dead body of fisherman found in the sea

Posted by Amota Eromanga on September 8, 2013 at 4:25 AM Comments comments (0)

After hours and days of searching, the crew of MV Nakoraoi finally found the dead body of Rene Atanieru - one of the three fishermen who went fishing on a wooden boat since last Friday (30 August) and reported to have never returned. These fishermen were from KPC Kekeiaki Group in Arorae island whom were out fishing for the birthday feast of their pastor’s grandchild, Nei Tamaroa.

When found, Rene’s body was within his own lavalava which he had stretched and tied...

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Nabetari - Ocean hero (Part 2)

Posted by Amota Eromanga on August 4, 2013 at 8:20 AM Comments comments (3)

Consider reading Nabetari - Ocean Hero (Part 1)

Years later, Nabetari was selected from his home island Nikunau this time to work at the phosphate mining company on Banaba (Ocean island). While he was on Banaba, World War II broke out. Towards the end of 1942, the Japanese finally came and seized Banaba from the British - the colonial ruler of that time.

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Nabetari - Ocean hero (Part 1)

Posted by Amota Eromanga on June 24, 2013 at 7:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Nabetari was from the island of Nikunau in the southern Kiribati. He was born in 1922 and grew up at Tabomatang village. He was kind, honest, hard working and also known to be always happy. Such manners and attitudes made everybody in his village admire him. When Nabetari reached school ages, he began attending a mission (primary) school in his village.

Pastor Mwakaea was the missionary of Tabomatang village at that time. Not just a missionary but a good and dedicated school ...

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The First Three Swimmers

Posted by Amota Eromanga on October 30, 2012 at 7:05 AM Comments comments (0)

‘The First Three Swimmers’ is connected to the other true story entitled Ocean Accident - Uean Te Raoi which had been published here as well. In the second part of that story, three men swam away to the island - not long after the fe...

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Ocean Accident - Uean Te Raoi (6)

Posted by Amota Eromanga on October 26, 2012 at 7:00 PM Comments comments (0)

IN HONOUR & REMEMBRANCE OF THOSE WHO SURVIVED AND THOSE WHO DIED!

This was our fourth day in the ocean. I told the passengers about the dream I had last night - of a fine day with plenty of rain and that two boats would come to get us. They weren’t interested in my story as it was only a dream. All that they knew was help that hadn’t yet arrived.

As I looked around, I saw the woman sitting alone on the outrigger part. I asked about her child an...

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Ocean Accident - Uean Te Raoi (5)

Posted by Amota Eromanga on October 23, 2012 at 1:30 AM Comments comments (0)

IN HONOUR & REMEMBRANCE OF THOSE WHO SURVIVED AND THOSE WHO DIED!

On the morning of our third day, I suddenly woke up from a dream. I was shocked to see fewer people around. Where had the others gone? Some answered me and said that several passengers left the ferry last night. I could not believe it. I checked around to look for those I knew from my village. They weren’t here. They were among those who swam away to the land last night. If correct, there were 13 passe...

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Ocean Accident - Uean Te Raoi (4)

Posted by Amota Eromanga on October 14, 2012 at 3:20 AM Comments comments (0)

IN HONOUR & REMEMBRANCE OF THOSE WHO SURVIVED AND THOSE WHO DIED!

After righting the ferry

After the ferry had been restored, the next big job was bailing water out of the hull. Everyone was asked to move to the outrigger section of the ferry and to push it downward from there. But now, nobody seemed to listen. Passengers did not want to move nor did what was being asked. This happened certainly not because they didn’t want to or disagreed, but...

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Ocean Accident - Uean Te Raoi (3)

Posted by Amota Eromanga on October 12, 2012 at 1:50 AM Comments comments (0)

IN HONOUR & REMEMBRANCE OF THOSE WHO SURVIVED AND THOSE WHO DIED!

The Second Day

On the morning of our second day, we seemed to have been drifting back towards Maiana as the island appeared again after midday. Passengers (who were familiar with sea location) said that we were probably somewhere at the eastern side of Tematantongo village. We could see the island but it was in the distance. No help ever arrived yet so the captain decided to swim up to...

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Ocean Accident - Uean Te Raoi (2)

Posted by Amota Eromanga on October 6, 2012 at 10:40 PM Comments comments (0)

IN HONOUR & REMEMBRANCE OF THOSE WHO SURVIVED AND THOSE WHO DIED!

When the ferry capsized:

I tried to swim out from beneath the ferry and when I finally shot into the air, I saw that many passengers were already floating around. Some were still struggling to get out and finally appeared on water. But I also knew that few were still below the ferry. I heard passengers shouting to restore the ferry again. But nobody attempted to as they were too busy t...

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