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Fiji Time: 9:13 PM on Sunday 20 April

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Drowning death toll rings alarm bells

Nasik Swami
Monday, December 10, 2012

THE number of people drowning in Fiji has sparked concern for the Fiji Police Force.

According to recent statistics released by the force, 64 people have died as a result of drowning from January to the beginning of December this year compared to 37 for the same period last year.

Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro said most of the drowning cases were reported from the Western Division.

"Majority of the cases involve children under the age of 10 who wandered off and drowned in the nearby creeks and rivers," Ms Naisoro said.

Chief of operations Assistant Commissioner of Police Rusiate Tudravu said the increase in the national drowning figures had left the force baffled amid the cyclone season.

"The drowning death toll is a big concern for us because we are now in the cyclone season," ACP Tudravu said. He said the major reason resulting in increased deaths was parental negligence.

"Some parents don't take proper care of their children when they go out to picnics or on tours. Children are left alone at sea or near rivers or even left near flooded creeks unsupervised," ACP Tudravu said.

And he said as a result, most children continued to be the victims of drowning. He said they were concerned with the issue of parental negligence and were looking at ways to charge negligent parents.