POLICE are advising people living in rural areas not to take unnecessary risks after a 28-year-old man drowned while attempting to swim across the Tuvu River in Navosa last Saturday.
Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro said the man decided to cross the river despite the pleas of fellow villagers against doing so.
"It is alleged the deceased opted to swim despite the strong currents and objections from the villagers who were waiting for a boat to transport them across river."
The deceased was employed as a travel agent in Valelevu in Suva and had gone to Tuvu Village for a birthday celebration.
The drowning death toll now stands at 46 compared to 68 this time last year.
Ms Naisoro said people flocking to beaches and other picnic spots to celebrate Christmas must take extra precautions to prevent the further loss of lives.
"We are renewing calls for people to be cautious and always take into consideration your environment and any hidden dangers."