It is a real tragedy that the Sunnasy and Moorghen families are experiencing. Constables Vimal Sunnasy and Parkiyaven Moorghen, both 32, went to sea in Poudre d'Or on Monday, May 27 with Steeve Fortuno, 34, and Naseeruddin Mudhoo, two other colleagues. What was supposed to be a relaxing time with friends turned into a nightmarish night. Their boat capsized while they were near Passe Saint Géran. The strong swells separated the police officers.

Steeve Fortuno and Naseeruddin Mudhoo say they experienced the worst before finally being spotted by fishermen. However, their friends Vimal Sunnasy and Parkiyaven Moorghen were caught underwater. Since then, they have not reappeared. Coast guard elements, the police helicopter and the police officers' relatives go to sea every day in the hope of finding them.

Police divers are out every day continuing the search.
Police divers are out every day continuing the search.

Constable Vimal Sunnasy, trained in the coast guard

“Zordi panse kav trouv kiksoz,” says Rajveer, the uncle of police officer Vimal Sunnasy. Since this disappearance at sea, with other members of the family, they go to Poudre d'Or every day, scanning the horizon and hoping that the search will be successful. However, so far, apart from the boat which capsized and was found on rocks, no personal effects have been discovered.

A harsh reality for the family of the young police officer. Discreet by nature, he rarely goes out with his friends. “Vimal is a shy and friendly boy,” said his uncle. Originally from Roches-Noires, he is the youngest of the family. “He has an older sister. There are only two of them,” he adds. After his secondary studies at Universal College in Rivière-du-Rempart, he applied to join the police force.

“He passed the selections and started his training in the coast guard,” says Rajveer. On April 2, 2015, he officially joined law enforcement. A moment of joy and pride for loved ones. “He thought he was going to be sent to a coast guard station up north, but that wasn't the case. At that time, there was an increase in violence and he ended up at the Rivière-du-Rempart police station, then at Goodlands and about two years ago at the detention center in Piton. He wanted to return to the coast guard,” says this relative.

“He only knows work, his home, family and God. He is also very religious. He doesn’t drink or smoke,” he says. The young man, still single, plays guitar in a choir.

Nothing could prepare them for such a situation. Darsanand Sunnasy, 61, the policeman's father, is confused. “My daughter lives in Australia. Last Wednesday (May 22), it was my son who accompanied me to the airport. I went to England,” explains the sixty-year-old. While his trip was supposed to last three weeks, the tragedy forced him to cut his vacation short.

“On Monday, I learned that my son, who almost never goes out, went to join his police friends for a fishing trip. Everyone had taken their motorcycle. Before going out, he asked his mother to make him some tea and put it in a thermos. She told him to be careful,” says his father. However, although the police officer had told his mother Jaya that he was going to return around 10 p.m., he did not return.
“…gray areas…”

“She tried to contact him but he didn’t answer. It was only around 2 a.m. on Tuesday that two police officers came to the house to inform his mother that they had had an accident at sea,” continues the uncle. The police officer's father was alerted. He returned to the country on Wednesday. He tries to understand what could have happened. “There are gray areas,” says the bruised father.

Police officer Vishalen Moorghen, never gives up

Parkiyaven Moorghen is the other missing police officer. He is also stationed at the Piton detention center. His brother, also a police officer, and his cousins ​​travel around the Passe Saint Géran by boat, braving difficult conditions, in search of them. “He never gives up. We too have hope,” says Varusha, Constable Moorghen’s cousin.

The police officer lived in Piton for a long time before coming to settle in Goodlands. Parkiyaven (Vishalen), joined the police on June 6, 2011. He was part of the Special Mobile Force. A few years ago, he lost his father to illness. He never gave up. Vishalen has always shown great strength of character. He also wears his heart on his sleeve.

Ramen and Vinaden Moorghen, the policeman's two uncles, explain that Vishalen has incredible strength. “He has a lot of strength. He loved his job as a police officer. Two years ago he got married,” shares Ramen. But just as everything was smiling on him on Monday, misfortune struck. The four friends had all done their duty for the day and in the afternoon they were already at home, getting ready to go on a fishing trip. Vishalen did not appear again.

“Nou pe touzour gard lespwar,” confides her cousin.

A fishing trip that turns into drama

Monday May 27, constables Steeve Fortuno, 34 years old, Naseeruddin Mudhoo, 39 years old, Vimal Sunnasy and Parkiyaven Moorghen, both aged 32, boarded a boat belonging to Steeve Fortuno at Pointe des Lascars for a fishing trip. But around 7:45 p.m., tragedy struck. The boat was overturned by a strong swell. The police found themselves in the water. Steeve Fortuno and Naseeruddin Mudhoo managed to escape thanks to fishermen who saw them in the early hours of Tuesday. They were admitted to hospital. But for the other two friends, they are missing. A series of operations at sea then began by coastguards, relatives and volunteers to find them. As of Friday, the search continued.

Searches extended to the high seas and neighboring islands

As soon as the alert was given, the coast guard, the police helicopter and other units mobilized to find the two victims. The Helicopter Squadron, the Dhruv and the Alouette go out every day to fly over the region. The Dhruv continues the search on the high seas while the Alouette inside the lagoon. From Poste La Fayette, the teams do not want to leave anything to chance. The nearby islands are also flown over. Three two-hour flights are scheduled each day in order to cover the maximum surface area to find the two police friends. A dozen flights had already been carried out as of Friday. At sea, the coast guard, divers, elements of the Mauritius Police Intervention Group and NCG commandos continue to patrol. However, weather conditions make these operations difficult.

“Mo pe sagrin mo de koleg, mo espere found zot vivan”

Police officers Fortuno and Mudhoo are the two survivors of this dramatic outing. They were admitted to the observation room at the SSRN hospital in Pamplemousses. The two men say they came close to death and hope to see their two friends again. “Mo pa sagrin po mo moter ou mo baton, mo pe sagrin mo de koleg, mo espere v zot vivan,” says Steeve Fortuno on his hospital bed. He said he did everything he could to get his friends out of the water, but they were surprised by the strong swells and were separated. Constable Mudhoo also says he has a thought for his friends. “I hope I find someone,” he sighs. He also points out that he tried to rescue his friends, but the waves were too strong and, at one point, he found himself alone. For three hours, they say they remained in the water before fishermen saw them and alerted the coast guard.

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