Beach-goers warned to be vigilant during this festive period


Zodidi Mhlana

As thousands of beachgoers continue flocking to beaches throughout the country, experts have warned them to exercise caution in order to remain safe.

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) issued the warning as numerous drowning tragedies have been recorded in certain coastal towns over the past few days.

“The NSRI is continuing to urge people to be cautious around the coast and in land waters even around swimming pools. When members of the public go to beaches with their families, they must make that they go to beaches where there are lifeguards and obey the safety instructions from the life guards. They must swim within the safe swimming zones,” NSRI’s spokesperson Craig Lambinon said.

Several drowning tragedies have already taken place in Richards Bay, Port St Johns and some parts of the Western Cape.

On Tuesday, a 34 year- old man drowned in Gordon’s Bay while attempting to rescue his 10 year- old son.

Lambinon said that the man and his son were fishing when the child was swept into the surf. While the child was rescued and taken to hospital, the man was declared dead on the scene as paramedics were unable to save him.

In another incident, an elderly man was declared dead after he was found floating in the water at a camp in Soetwater in the Western Cape. A teenage boy drowned at Strand beach in Cape Town on Sunday. Another man also lost his life during a separate drowning incident at the Kariega River mouth in the Eastern Cape.

Lambinon appealed to parents to ensure that their children were safe all the time during this festive period.

 “We urge parents to make sure that their children have responsible adult supervision around all water, not only coastal water, but also inland rivers, swimming pools, lagoons and lakes,” he added.