2 May 2013

Kayaker completes gruelling Samoa journey to highlight youth suicide

12:12 pm on 2 May 2013

A kayaker has made landfall in Apia after a gruelling journey around Samoa to raise awareness about youth suicide.

Australian police officer, Andy Warton, took on the 400 kilometre voyage after hearing about the country's high youth suicide rate during a two year stint in Samoa.

His campaign has raised enough money to keep Samoa's suicide hotline Faataua le Ola running for another eighteen months.

Mr Warton says he had to battle unexpected headwinds and big swells during his thirteen days at sea but he found even people in remote villages knew what he was doing.

"Along this journey I've met young men who've attempted to take their own life and survived, parents who have had children who have taken their own lives and I've spoken to them all about what we're doing and why we're doing it. It's given me a bigger insight into just how terrible youth suicide in particular is and what an impact it has on families, on communities and on a country."

Australian kayaker Andy Warton