There have been seven confirmed fatal drownings at beaches since the beginning of December, and one person missing at sea, presumed drowned.
According to the City, drownings were recorded at Clifton 4th Beach, Strandfontein Beach, Lagoon Beach, Wolfgat coastline and Kogel Bay. Two drownings were reported at Sonwabe Beach, while the search continues for a 28-year-old man missing at sea.
“It’s unfortunate that all of these tragic incidents have happened at beaches that are not designated swimming areas, or outside of lifeguard duty hours. We still have a few months of beach weather lying in wait, so I want to renew my appeal to the public to please abide by the rules, for their own safety.
“Swim only where lifeguards are present, and listen to their instructions when you do go into the water. Our lifeguards and support services have been working incredibly hard thus far this season, even extending their hours on occasion where beaches have been busy. But they can only do so much safety is a shared responsibility,” said Mayco member for community services and health, Patricia Van der Ross.
During the same period, there have been 11 non-fatal drowning incidents.
Meanwhile, at its halfway mark, the Identikidz project has seen 85 916 children tagged by January 1.
Of these, 263 were reunited with their caregivers.
Participating beaches are Big Bay, Camps Bay, Fish Hoek, Gordon’s Bay, Harmony Park, Melkbosstrand, Milnerton Beach, Mnandi, Monwabisi, Muizenberg, Sea Point and surrounding area, Silwerstroom, Strand and Strandfontein. Maiden’s Cove was included on the list of participating beaches on December 26 and January 1.
“Beaches along the False Bay coast between Muizenberg and Strand have recorded the highest number of children being tagged since the project started. Unsurprisingly, the New Year’s long weekend has been busiest thus far, with 36 959 children tagged, and 198 reunions. Identikidz will still be available over the next three weekends at the participating beaches, and we encourage parents to continue working with us, and to make use of this incredibly valuable service,” Van der Ross said.