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Kayaker raising awareness about suicide in Samoa just hours from landfall

A kayaker circumnavigating Samoa is hours away from landfall in the capital Apia after a 400 kilometre journey to raise awareness about suicide.Andy Warton says the view of Apia’s buildings over the bow of his vessel is a welcome sight after a gruelling fortnight in rough seas.Mr Warton, who took on the journey after working as a police officer in Apia for two years, says it has helped make people realise suicide is a community problem with community solutions.He says even people in remote villages knew what he was doing. “I landed on the western most point of Samoa on a deserted beach and a family appeared out of the bushes, walked down the beach to greet me and they knew about the kayak, but more importantly they knew why we were doing this. And so the level of public awareness already just in the thirteen days it’s been out there is astonishing and that to me means we’ve succeeded.”Andy Warton says the Kayak4youth venture has raised enough money to keep Samoa’s suicide hotline Faataua le Ola running for another eighteen months.