THE Suva Point beachfront was a sea of colours yesterday as many people from all walks of life gathered at the capital city's picnic spot to celebrate the new year.
While children and adults enjoyed themselves in the shade of trees and shelters along the seawall, others took a dip.
The Fiji Police Force released the drowning death toll which increased drastically and has become a matter of serious concern as most of the victims were children under the age of 10.
It was evident with parents picnicking at the beach yesterday that they were well aware of the advice being given out to the general public regarding drowning.
"I brought my five children here today and I have also brought my neighbour to help look after the kids when they are out in the sea," said Davuilevu resident Jone Soqoinamara.
"I don't want anything to happen to my children and I know that I cannot look after them alone while they are swimming, so I have asked for extra hands to help supervise them."
Mr Soqoinamara's family was among those that had children to look after and were also out to have a good time in the sun.
Lami resident Premila Chandra said: "It is really sad to know that many children are dead as a result of drowning because their parents were too busy doing something else.
"I have only two daughters and when we decided to come out here for a picnic. I made sure we brought our swimming gear with us."