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SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Jan. 3) - Fiji recorded its first drowning victim just two days into the New Year after a 20-year-old man was swept away at Natadola Beach yesterday.

Police reported that the victim, a Nadi technician, drowned while swimming with friends at Natadola Beach outside of Sigatoka.

The man was apparently swept away by strong currents.

Police public relations officer Inspector Unaisi Vuniqaqa is calling on members of the public to check the current flow of the water before entering the river or the sea.

The drowning death toll stood at 51 for 2004, compared to 46 for the previous year.

A 28-year-old diver of Navuso Village in Naitasiri was the last drowning victim last year.

He drowned while attempting to swim across the Waimanu River at the Navuso Landing.

January 4, 2005

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