CHILDREN younger than 10 years old top the drowning list with statistics released by the police showing a total of 24 children falling victims.
The drowning death toll for last month stood at 74 compared to 44 for the same period in 2011. The figures are a matter of concern to police and other relevant stakeholders as most victims were children.
The latest drowning victims were a five-month-old baby and a seven-year-old boy who were travelling with 10 other passengers in a 23ft fibre glass boat en-route to Vatulele Island on Sunday.
In a statement, police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro said the boat capsized after strong winds hit the boat 200 metres away from its destination. Both the deceased were taken to the Vatulele Health Centre where they were pronounced dead on arrival.
Figures released by the police for the period of January to December last year show that 24 children less than 10 years old died from drowning.
There were 15 cases in which victims were between the age range of 17 and 25 years; 13 adults between 26 and 35 years; 11 cases above the age of 45 years; six cases between 36 to 45 years and three in the 11 to 16 age group.
"It is indeed unfortunate that 24 children lose their lives due to drowning cases in 2012 and it is the Fiji Police Force's sincere wish and hope that this is not repeated in 2013," Ms Naisoro said.