A STRANGE looking marine creature reportedly spotted in lagoon waters of three villages in Cakaudrove are keeping fishermen and divers away from sea.
Naiqaqi Village headman Jepeca Nakuvu said villagers from the neighbouring village of Laucala and Valeni were scared of going out to sea because of the creature.
Ateca Disukavanua, 50, said she was fishing near a copse of mangrove called Dogodogo on Monday when she saw a black creature swimming towards her.
"At first I thought it was a log but then it moved closer and I was so scared because the water was up to my waist I jumped on top of a mangrove stump," she said. "I hung on to that mangrove tree for about an hour and the creature, which was about three foot long, and had flippers like that of a turtle and had a strange long mouth.
"I had never seen such a thing before in my life. I was shaking because it kept hanging around as if it smelt the place where I was standing.
"I only got down when the tide went out and the water was only ankle high."
Mr Nakuvu said men from the three villages armed themselves with cane knives, digging forks and spears and looked for the creature hoping to kill it.
"When we know it is dead we will go out to sea because we are scared because this is something that we are not familiar with," he said.
The village headman said they had lodged a complaint at the Savusavu Police Station.