Fiji Time: 10:14 PM on Wednesday 25 November

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Youth drowns at sea

Maciu Malo
Monday, January 13, 2014

ELEVEN days into the new year, three people have died in the country by drowning.

And with the increasing deaths, the Fiji Police Force has called on members of the public to take precautionary measures while swimming.

The call follows the drowning of a 19-year-old boy at Natadola Beach on Saturday.

Commonly known as Ulai to his friends, the deceased was a member of the All Nations Church youth group that departed the Capital City for a day out on the beach.

Fellow youth member Ligitoni Voseci, 18, who was swimming with Ulai before the incident happened, said he tried to save Ulai but the current was too strong.

Mr Voseci said he was swimming with the victim when all of a sudden they felt the strong currents which carried them to deeper waters.

"We tried to move forward but the current was too strong but I never lost hope. We were fighting for our survival against the strong currents and I could only hear his voice shouting for help. I tried my best to help him but I was tired.

"I encouraged him not to lose hope unfortunately he was nowhere to be seen.

"This happened about 30 metres from the shore."

Mr Voseci said the family of the deceased resided at Newtown, Nasinu.

Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro confirmed the deceased had accompanied his church group for a breakup party at Natadola beach.

"Around 4.15pm the deceased had gone for a swim when he was allegedly caught in the strong current and swept away into deeper waters," Ms Naisoro said.

"The alarm was raised and with assistance from staff of a nearby resort a search was immediately conducted."

She said the body was recovered yesterday morning by a search party.

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