The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) has issued a warning to bathers, boaters and those who plan to visit beaches of stronger than normal rip currents due to the spring tide reaching its peak.
Already a number of drowning incidents have been reported and at Klein Brak Beach on the outskirts of Mossel Bay, a 66-year-old man who was swimming with a friend drowned when he got caught in a rip current on Monday.
NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon said two lifeguards who were in the water preparing for duty noticed a man running and people carrying someone out of the surf onto the beach.
He said it appeared the man and a female friend had been swimming together and were caught in rip currents.
“On lifeguards arriving on the scene, it was found the man had been in difficulty in the water and had been rescued from the water by his friend, also a local, who described to the NSRI how she had managed to swim the man to the beach even though he was lifeless in the water.
“NSRI lifeguards, assisted by bystanders, initiated CPR efforts and were joined by paramedics. After all efforts to resuscitate the man were exhausted, he was sadly declared deceased by paramedics,” said Lambinon.
On Sunday, a boat carrying four men capsized off Bantry Bay. One man drowned while three survived.
The City also reported a mass rescue at Monwabisi Beach, with three “non-fatal drownings”.
“The patients were transported to Khayelitsha hospital for medical treatment. According to City records, there have been four fatal drownings of bathers since December 1,” said Mayco member for community services and health Patricia van der Ross.