NRL star Martin Taupau pays emotional tribute to uncle who died while saving others: ‘He will never be forgotten’
Brisbane Broncos star Martin Taupau Broncos has paid an emotional tribute to his uncle after he drowned at Cronulla Beach on Saturday.
Father-of-six Talitiga Taupau died at the scene after he swam into a crevasse at unpatrolled Shelly Beach in Cronulla while trying to rescue two men trapped in a crevasse.
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One of the men was placed in an induced coma and remains in a critical condition in hospital, while the other was able to swim to shore.
Martin Taupau said his uncle was more than a hero after risking his life to save the two men.
“For what he’s done, he’s beyond that title now,” he told Channel Nine.
“It’s really sad that this happened, but he will never be forgotten for his actions.”
Having recently left the Manly Sea Eagles and signed with the Broncos, Taupau was driving to Brisbane with his family when he was informed of his uncle’s death.
Talitiga Taupau drowned at Cronulla Beach on Saturday. Credit: gofundme.com
“There’s just so much happening, so much to process,” Taupau said.
“I know I have the right people and support networks around, and my family, we’ll be fine.”
Taupau also took to Instagram as he paid tribute to his uncle.
“Manuia lau malaga (translates to ‘may he rest in eternal peace’) uncle,” Taupau wrote on Instagram, followed by a crying emoji, broken heart emoji and a peace dove.
Other nieces and nephews of Talitiga Taupau have created a GoFundMe account to raise money for his family.
“Uncle Tali was a jokester, always dancing and laughing and keeping the fun vibes high! He was the baby brother of 16 brothers and sisters, father of 6 young children and the uncle of… too many nieces and nephews!,” the report read.
“If you knew our uncle, he was always cracking jokes and cracking open a cold one! Overall, he was a beautiful man.
Shelly Beach in Cronulla. Credit: Seven News
“Recently our dear uncle passed away because he made a risky choice to run in and save two strangers in a rip at Shelley Beach. Even though he knew the risk, he didn’t hesitate to run in and help. What was meant to be just a nice visit on the beach turned into a heartbreaking day for our family.
“Although we are still sad and it is a sadness that will not heal quickly, we are comforted and humbled that our uncle had a heroic end to his life, so we will celebrate his life!
“All the proceeds will go straight to our aunt Salai who will help her with her children and help cover some of the funeral costs, so if there are any donations – big or small – our family would appreciate it!
“We thank you all for the thoughts, prayers and love sent our way, especially to our aunt and the little ones at this time. To God be the glory!
“We miss you uncle, rest in peace now x.”
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