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Water safety a concern

Atasa Moceituba
Monday, February 09, 2015

Water safety continues to be an issue of concern for the Fiji Police Force considering the number of lives lost on a yearly basis.

In 2014, about 47 drowning cases were recorded by the Fiji Police Force where children who were under the age of 16 accounted for 18 of the 47 drowning cases.

Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro said creating awareness on water safety could no longer be the sole responsibility of the Fiji Police Force.

She said parents should monitor their children when they were involved in any form of water activity.

"Only a parent or guardian can understand their child's swimming capabilities and it is therefore imperative that they ensure their child is always supervised or are in the company of someone who knows how to swim," Ms Naisoro said.

"This is why we have continued to call on parents and guardians to keep a close eye on the whereabouts of their children and ensure they are supervised when involved in any form of water activity."

Ms Naisoro said the police worked with the Water Safety Council as they tried to address the members of the public on the importance of taking precautionary measures when they went out swimming.

"As such, we have gone into partnership with the Water Safety Council to try and conduct an in-depth look as to what are the most common causes of drowning in Fiji and come up with strategies to reduce the number of lives lost to drowning."

Ms Naisoro said they had come across cases where people tended to be complacent about the issue of water safety.

"As stated, drowning is preventable, however, it depends on the decisions we make.

"While stakeholders are doing all they can to raise awareness, it does ultimately come down to the decisions we make as adults for ourselves and for our children," Ms Naisoro said.

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