Dad dies in freak snow tragedy
A Melbourne dad killed in a freak snow tragedy in Japan lived for his children.
Nghia Ta - better known as Nee - was working as a ski instructor in the resort town of Niseko when he was somehow buried in snow.
The 43-year-old, who has two children aged just six and three, had earlier this month been helping remove snow from an accommodation building roof.
Brother Nick Ta told the Herald Sun: "He was basically buried under the snow for quite some time. When they pulled him out he was already gone."
"It's just so sudden,'' he said.
"We are still trying to come to terms with the loss.
"He was the best father ever. He did everything for those two kids. He taught them how to ski. Every weekend I'd see pictures of them going outdoors doing things and having adventures.
"He loved those two children and he would do anything for them."
Nee, who came to Australia as a refugee from Vietnam aged just one, grew up in Mitcham.
He attended Yarra Valley Grammar and studied advertising at RMIT University before learning to ski and snowboard while teaching English in Japan.
He'd been living there for two years having worked the slopes in Canada and Mount Hotham where he met Taiwanese-born wife I-Hsin Tseng.
Nick said he was now working to bring children Jaime and Ethan, who are Australian citizens, and Ms Tseng to Melbourne.
"Ethan is only three-years-old so he doesn't understand what is going on,'' Nick said.
"Jaime is six. To explain to her how her dad is not going to be home is going to be hard.
"His passion for skiing, snowboarding and the outdoors drove him to work and bring his family to Japan.
"He just didn't really have that passion to be working a desk job - he just wanted to be outdoors doing what he loved and that drove him to go overseas.
"He's travelled the world doing the snow seasons.
"That's what he loved and that's what he enjoyed.
"He loved his family, his children and adventure.
"He loved living in Japan. We were fortunate enough to visit Nee and his family before the pandemic. He loved the freedom and the outdoors."
Nee's funeral and cremation were held in Japan on Tuesday with relatives including his parents watching online from Melbourne.
Nee was dubbed the family's miracle child because he was seriously ill on the way to Australia in 1978 and almost didn't survive.
"He was very sick and had lost a lot of weight,'' Nick said.
"He was supposed to be the miracle baby because we weren't sure if he was going to make it to Australia or not.
"We are just thankful for all the family, friends and people in the snow community who have offered support. Especially the generosity of those who we don't know."
To assist the family go to au.gofundme.com/f/nee-ta-family
Originally published as Melbourne dad dies in freak snow tragedy