Cape Town - The City of Cape Town's swimming pools proved a popular holiday option as thousands of patrons flocked to the 19 open facilities to cool off.
Lifeguards ensured there were no drownings at City pools, with at least one going the extra mile to save a life.
"The City's public swimming pools attracted thousands of visitors over the school holidays who were eager to cool off and relax. We only opened 19 of the 35 facilities in our commitment to continued water saving practices and they will remain open until the end of January. A few of our pools have their own water resources and this has bolstered our efforts to save our precious water supply," said Mayco Member for Community Services and Health, Zahid Badroodien.
The swimming pools remained open for longer on the more popular and hotter days of the festive season.
Badroodien commended the lifeguards for their dedication and commitment which ensured there were no fatal drownings at City pools.
This does not mean there were no incidents at the pools and lifeguards had their hands full with more than 300 help-outs and assisting in non-fatal drownings.
In one specific incident a pool lifeguard rushed to the assistance of a man who was in trouble on the nearby beach.
Cameron Vannithing was doing duty at the Strand indoor swimming pool when he heard screams that someone was in trouble on the beach.
"This young man didn't think twice about going into the water to pull out the victim who had already drowned. Back on land Cameron performed CPR and when paramedics arrived he kept up the chest compressions all the way to the hospital where doctors managed to find a pulse. There is no doubt that without his quick actions there would have been an addition to the number of fatal beach drownings," said Badroodien.
While pool lifeguards are there to ensure the safety of bathers, their tasks are made difficult when patrons do not play their part.
Several incidents at pools necessitated the intervention of Law Enforcement.
In one incident patrons refused to leave the Langa swimming pool at closing time. Staff, lifeguards and Law Enforcement were threatened and stones were thrown into the swimming pool.
"There are still a few weeks left before pools close and I want to encourage residents to make use of the facilities responsibly. If you're unsure of the rules, speak to our lifeguards and also inform them if you're not confident in the water," said Badroodien.
Tips for staying safe at the pool:
- Children under seven years of age must be accompanied by an adult at all times
- No alcohol or banned substances are allowed
- No glass containers or weapons of any kind are allowed
- No rough play, running, dunking or diving off shoulders is allowed
- Don't swim near or under the diving boards
If someone else is in trouble, don't get in if the water is too deep for you to stand. Alert a lifeguard immediately to the situation.
Patrons are reminded that once a swimming pool has reached its capacity, no more patrons will be allowed in.
This is in the interest of safety and takes into account the size of the facility and the number of lifeguards on duty.@TheCapeArgus