A little girl who was reportedly left strapped to a catamaran while her parents cooked dinner has been found drowned.
The 13-month-old toddler, named Māhina Toki, died Friday after falling from the catamaran Kalamari, which was docked in Musket Cove in western Fiji.
The New Zealand Herald cited a Fiji police spokesman as saying the child had been strapped into a harness on the deck and watching a movie while her parents, Mark and Kiri, were cooking dinner in the galley.
The girl’s parents were not able to find her when they returned.
It’s believed she got loose and ended up overboard.
An urgent search was launched and the girl’s body was found floating in the sea.Attempts to revive her were unsuccessful.
A post on the crowdfunding page Givealittle by Grace Palos stated that Mahina was tethered to the boat and was watching a movie when she “worked free and found the water.”
“By the time we could find her, it was too late.”
The little girl was described as a “beautiful, happy, smiling child who loved the water and life on the boat.”
The girl’s mother, Kiri, was cited as saying she had eyes that “looked into your soul from the day she was born.”
“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.”
More than $18,000 has already been raised to assist the family to help cover the cost of flights home and funeral expenses.
Police in Fiji are investigating the death.
A spokesman for the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it was aware of the death and was providing consular assistance, the New Zealand Herald reported.
“To the beloved Māhina, may you forever live in peace, splashing with joy somewhere in the sea,” the Givealittle post stated.