The holiday season will see enthusiastic beachgoers flocking to the waters, but the NSRI are appealing to the public to only swim at beaches protected by lifeguards and between safe swimming zone flags.
“Lifeguards regularly move these flags when they detect rip currents forming and we are appealing to the public to obey the lifeguards instructions.
“Families visiting the beach should approach the lifeguards if they are separated from family members or if they need assistance,” the NSRI said.
They are also appealing to fishermen, coastline anglers and hikers, to take heed of Spring tides. This month’s full moon Spring tide peaks on Sunday, December 19, and the new moon Spring Tide peaks on January 2.
“We are appealing to the public to be aware of the higher than normal high tides and lower than normal low tides preceding and following after the Spring Tides peak day and be cautious around the coastline,” the NSRI adds.
Boaters, paddlers and sail boarders are urged to wear properly fitting and fastened life-jackets while the craft is underway, and should ensure that their crafts are in working order and the motors are serviced before launching. They are urged to download and use the free NSRI RSA SafeTrx cellphone app and have safety equipment and an emergency plan in place.
The NSRI has also developed a safety monitor ID tag to be worn by the responsible person that is overseeing children while they are swimming at beaches and to regularly change that responsible monitoring person every half an hour to ensure that that the designated person is not distracted by cellphone calls or by conversation during their dedicated monitoring period.
To download the tag, click here: https://www.nsri.org.za/wp-con….
“If you are caught in a rip current don’t panic, stay afloat using the air in your lungs for natural buoyancy and tread water to keep your head above water. Go with the rip current, do not try to swim against the current. Call out for help. At your first opportunity swim across the beachfront until you are free from the rip current and then use the incoming waves to get to the beach,” the NSRI continues.
To report a water emergency call 112 from your cellphone or 0870949774.