Auckland rugby community mourns Kaipara tragedy victim

By Wepiha Te Kanawa

A former Auckland Cup player is among the dead in the Kaipara Habour tragedy, leaving Auckland's rugby community devastated.

Bevan Cadwallader, Auckland Mitre 10 Cup team assistant coach, says he was devastated to hear of his good friend Tevita David Tangi’s death.

Bevan and Dave's sons played in the same under 8 Auckland University rugby football team,  which they both coached.  He told Te Kāea Dave was popular with the players and his extensive knowledge and past experience playing rep. rugby for Pakuranga and Auckland Cup teams enhanced the team spirit.

“We had lots of fun this year and our little team went unbeaten, and his boys were great little members of the team.”

Dave’s two boys started  playing for the Auckland University Under 8 Football Club at the beginning fo the year, where his friendship with Bevan started.

“He was such a big man, with a big smile, and so friendly and outgoing and a great part of our crew.”

Dave leaves behind 4 kids and his wife.

The last victim of the Kaipara drowning over the weekend is still yet to be found.

Police are in the ‘rescue and recovery’ phase and a shoreline and aerial search is underway  to find the 11th passenger of the Francie Charter boat that capsized in the Kaipara harbour on the weekend.  Police Inspector Mark Fergus says the bodies of 7 people have been recovered and one is missing and likely deceased.