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Hot weather sees need for rescuers increase as Cape beachgoers ignore safety rules

Lifesaving SA general manager Helen Herbert said there were a number of factors behind the lack of water safety. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency(ANA)

Lifesaving SA general manager Helen Herbert said there were a number of factors behind the lack of water safety. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Jan 25, 2022

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Cape Town - Despite numerous appeals for caution and safety at beaches over the weekend, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) has recorded numerous incidents along the coast, including a drowning at Strand Beach.

NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon said incidents included a man missing at a beach near Sonwabe in False Bay, three instances where lives were saved by bystanders using NSRI pink rescue buoys, and at least nine where a person was successfully resuscitated, plus hundreds of rescues carried out by lifeguards.

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NSRI Melkbosstrand station commander Peter O’Hanlon said their lifeguard unit responded to reports of a drowning near the Melkbosstrand slipway late on Sunday afternoon.

“The 16-year-old male, from Atlantis, had been swept across the beach in front of the lifeguard tower and he was recovered from the water [unconscious] by lifeguards.”

O’Hanlon said CPR was carried out and paramedics were able to successfully resuscitate the teen, who was taken to hospital in a critical condition.

“Warm weather is forecast… to persist around parts of South Africa, and we are appealing to the public to be safe around water,” said Lambinon.

Lifesaving SA general manager Helen Herbert said there were a number of factors behind the lack of water safety. These included people insisting on swimming outside designated safe swimming zones. She urged people to only swim between the red and yellow flags when a lifeguard was present.

Other factors were a lack of adequate supervision of children, a lack of swimming skills and the use of alcohol and other substances.

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Cape Flats Stories founder Stanley Jacobs said that during the recent hot weather a lot of young children from areas of the Cape Flats had made their way to Muizenberg and Strandfontein beaches, without supervision.

He implored parents to ensure they knew the whereabouts of their children, and that in the event of an emergency, they knew what to do.

“Qualified lifeguards need to be found at every point along our beaches and at every pool, dam and river where any aquatic resources are available for recreation and sporting activities,” Herbert said.

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Related Topics:

Cape TownCape Flats

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