2 300 bottles seized in beach booze blitz

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IOL ca pg10  Liquor Store2496 DONE CAPE ARGUS File photo: David Ritchie

Cape Town -The amount of alcohol confiscated on Cape Town beaches has risen and authorities say the total could rise further as many plan to ring in the new year on the beach.

Alcohol on beaches has been repeatedly mentioned as one of the biggest concerns and one of the causes of people drowning, especially during the festive season.

On Monday, the Cape Argus reported that 2 144 bottles of alcohol had been confiscated from beach-goers on various beaches last weekend.

On Thursday, Nathan Ladegourdie, spokesman for law enforcement specialised services, said that the total confiscated had risen to over 2 300 bottles of alcohol.

“We have law enforcement patrolling on the beaches and on some beaches they do check as people enter and quite a few more bottles came in today,” Ladegourdie said.

He said that it was mostly adults who were found with alcohol in their possession and that some even tried to hide the bottles in various containers.

“We get some people that put it (alcohol) in different bottles and hide it in bags and some come to the beach already intoxicated,” he said.

Ladegourdie said people bringing alcohol to the beach raised the possibility of drowning and they “act out” and make the day on the beach unpleasant for other beach-goers.

Ed Schroeder, Western Province lifesaving co-ordinator, said they appreciated the effort made by law enforcement to keep alcohol off beaches and added that there had been no drownings on Thursday.

“Last Saturday there was a case of close drowning in the Muizenberg area and in Melkbos a 15-year-old almost drowned, he was under the influence of either drugs or alcohol,” Schroeder said. He said that law enforcement was very tough this year.

“It’s a well-known fact that people try to bring alcohol on to beaches even if there is law enforcement and this causes lots of problems… it is a big no no,” Schroeder said.

Muizenberg was one of the hot spots for alcohol confiscations, Schroeder said. He said authorities were expecting a rush of people on New Year’s Day and that the amount of alcohol on the beaches was likely to be high.

“We are gearing up and we are ready for them,” he said.

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Cape Argus

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