A FAMILY on Rabi Island is mourning for their son who drowned at the Kamakau River last Saturday, becoming the country's first drowning victim for 2013.
Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro confirmed the incident occurred at 11am last Saturday at Bokanikai Village, Rabi when the 12-year-old was swept away by strong currents while swimming in the Kamakau River.
"The deceased's father was informed of the tragic incident by another 12-year-old who told him that his son was swept away by strong currents after jumping into the Kamakau River," Ms Naisoro said.
"His father managed to retrieve his son's body but could not revive him after several attempts."
"A post mortem is expected to be conducted soon as the body is at the Savusavu Hospital," she said.
Ms Naisoro said for the same period last year there were already two drowning cases recorded.
She once again sounded advice to parents and guardians regarding the safety of children during the holidays. "As children are spending what's left of their school holidays at home, we are once again pleading with parents and guardians to closely monitor their movements and whereabouts at all times," said Ms Naisoro.
"It is therefore advisable to accompany your children if they are intending to go swimming irrespective of whether it's in a group. It's better to be safe at all times and be with your children, because as an adult you would be in a better position to make decisions for the sake of safety.
"It is indeed unfortunate that a child has once again lost his life as a result of drowning in spite of all the awareness and advice issued for their safety around water sources," she said.