POLICE have issued warnings for people to exercise caution on land and water as the country recorded its first road fatality of 2013 and last drowning fatality of 2012 on consecutive days.
In separate incidents in the Western Division, a one-year-old toddler drowned in Ra on the last day of the year while a 21-year student was killed in a road accident at Lovu, Lautoka, on the first day of the year.
The road accident claimed the life of University of the South Pacific student Penasio Cerecere while three of his fellow Vitogo Village friends are in serious condition at the Lautoka Hospital.
Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro said it was the country's first fatal accident for 2013.
She said the five were heading towards Ba when the Mr Cerecere lost control of his vehicle and it veered off the road hitting a Fiji Electricity Authority post.
They were rushed to the Lautoka Hospital where Mr Cerecere died at 2200 hours at the ICU, Ms Naisoro said.
"The other passenger, a 19-year-old is admitted with injuries to his right leg, while another 17-year-old was treated and sent home.
"The other two passengers also 19 and 17-year olds are still admitted with serious injuries at the Lautoka Hospital.
"A post mortem examination will be conducted soon while investigations continue."
She added the accident was an unfortunate way to start off a new year.
"We are hoping that all motorists will take heed of the safety advice and exercise caution at all times."
As for the Ra drowning, Ms Naisoro said it had increased drowning fatalities for 2012 to 75 compared to 45 in 2011.
She called on people, especially guardians and parents, to be extra careful while looking after their children.
"A one year, nine-month-old baby unfortunately became the country's last drowning fatality for 2012," Ms Naisoro said.
The tragic incident occurred at Togovere village, Ra, where the deceased was found floating in a pit toilet by her mother.
"The pit toilet hole was newly dug and left uncovered and was of a depth of 1.5 metres."
Ms Naisoro said the deceased was conveyed to the Ra District Hospital and was pronounced dead on arrival.
Ms Naisoro said police were pleading once again with members of the public to take extra care.
"This also applies to those who are opting to stay home and we are therefore requesting families to be more aware of their children's whereabouts.
"We are hoping 2013 will not start on a tragic note for any family with the loss of a loved one as a result of drowning," she added.