FIJI marked World Water Safety Day 2014 on Friday at the Aquatic Centre in Suva.
People were reminded of the importance of being absolutely careful around water and to go swimming alongside another person — never alone.
"World Water Safety Day is celebrated to remind everybody about the importance of drowning prevention because drowning is preventable," explained Water Safety Council education and planning officer Bronwyn Soko.
"This year, to date, we've had 18 lives that were lost in water and five of those were children under the age of five years."
Mrs Soko said the importance of learning to prevent yourself and others from drowning could not be overlooked, as it only took 20 seconds for a person to drown.
"So we're just putting out messages to the children that you should never swim alone, always understand that you have to go swimming with others, and I think the massive importance here is for parents.
"If they're reading this newspaper and they don't know where their child is, their child could potentially be in danger — either form being hit by a car or from drowning."