Cape Town - Since the start of the year, drowning incidents around the False Bay coastline have been in the spotlight.
Several fatal drownings have been reported in January with the latest at Fish Hoek Beach on Saturday.
Lifeguards rescued a 15-year-old boy from the water after he dived off rocks into the surf but in spite of intensive CPR efforts, he was pronounced dead.
This was just one of five fatalities during the month as the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) and emergency services had their hands full responding to drowning at Muizenberg Beach.
Tragedy struck at a popular swimming destination on New Year’s Day after two men drowned while another was still being sought after he was swept out to sea. It’s understood the three aged 18, 24 and 28 were caught in a rip current at Sonwabe Beach.
A week later, a teenager drowned at Muizenberg Beach while swimming with his friend without adult supervision.
NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon said that fatal drowning incidents may have mostly occurred at beaches not protected by lifeguards.
“Around the coastline, rip currents appear to remain the greatest cause of bathers getting into difficulty in the surf,” he explained. “We are also appealing to bathers not to drink alcohol and then go swimming.”
Meanwhile, Hout Bay resident Archie Moberly who saved a young boy from drowning at Muizenberg Beach on January 6 wants to educate swimmers about the dangers of swimming unsupervised.
Archie was surfing at the beach when some kids pleaded with him to help their two friends in trouble.
He managed to rescue a teenage boy but his friend disappeared underwater.
“When it comes to raising awareness I think there are a lot of things to notice, like understanding tides and understanding the ocean.
He said: “Recognising water drowning, I have learnt from that day that drowning isn’t someone screaming for help. It’s someone very quietly, losing energy and starting to sink.
“These boys were playing unsupervised and the parents came later, something like 10 or 15 minutes later.”