12 Apr 2011

Fiji probes safety after Navua drownings

2:06 pm on 12 April 2011

Police in Fiji are investigating whether safety regulations were followed on a boat which capsized on Saturday, leading to the drowning of two people.

Police say the bodies of a ten year-old boy and a 70 year-old man have now been recovered from the Navua River in the highlands.

The man and his grandson were travelling in an outboard boat with ten others, when it capsized in swift currents caused by earlier heavy rain.

The other passengers swam to the riverbanks, but the pair were carried away.

Inspector Atunaisa Sokomuri says they're now investigating how the boat was operated and whether required equipment such as lifejackets were on board.

He says it's fortunate more people weren't drowned.

"It was very fortunate because we were experiencing heavy downpours two days prior to this incident and the National Weather Forecasting Centre in Nadi has been giving out points of possible flooding. But unfortunately people do still turn a deaf ear to these warnings."

Inspector Atunaisa Sokomuri