The inconceivable has not yet settled into our reality. Within a few weeks, another one of our crew members died on board of the Kwai. The 43 year old Tereitaki Reita (who we know as Takateke from Fanning Island) has suddenly departed last night.
Takateke had no complaints about his health. He gave up smoking three weeks ago and was full of life. Last night, around 2 am, he collapsed after having convulsions in his sleep. CPR was performed for one hour to no avail. He leaves behind six children and his wife who is pregnant…
All the Kwai shore crew has sent us condolences and signs of support. Brad mentioned that he remembers Takateke as: “a quiet, powerful man who could work all day with never a complaint”. “He was the boat driver with the skill and care that kept the crew and cargo safe”. “We will miss him in our
work and hold his memory dear”.
The whole process of death and the way the crew deals with it is amazingly natural. The circumstances are so different from Tetaake’s controversial death at the end of September. It feels a lot more tranquil now. People are in thought and want to share. I hear Takatekes name in a lot of conversations. There is still plenty of laughter about.
We lost a dear friend and he is still very much part of us. Personally, I am still in a daze and can not quite grasp the reality of Takateke’s passing.