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KwaZulu-Natal police, search and rescue and emergency services keeping an eye out on coastline

SAPS search and rescue patrolling the Durban beachfront. Picture: SAPS

SAPS search and rescue patrolling the Durban beachfront. Picture: SAPS

Published Jan 2, 2022

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DURBAN - KwaZulu-Natal police and emergency service personnel have been busy along the coastline since the start of the festive season.

On Saturday, Durban Search and Rescue conducted high visibility patrols along eThekwini beaches from Umkomaas to Westbrook Beach.

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Police said no serious incidents were reported.

Police also distributed water safety pamphlets to communities along the coastline.

Meanwhile, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) and all water emergency networks appealed to the public to be safe in and around coastal and inland waters and at swimming pools.

NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon said: “We are appealing to coastal bathers to only swim at beaches protected by lifeguards and swim in between the lifeguards’ safe swimming zone flags posted by the lifeguards on the beach.

“Lifeguards regularly move these flags when they detect rip currents forming and we are appealing to the public to obey the lifeguards’ instructions to only swim in between their flags.”

Police said no serious incidents were reported. Picture: SAPS

This was after a number of drownings and near-drownings across the province:

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  • The NSRI was made aware of the rescue of a girl by bystanders at Mtunzini Beach in Richards Bay, northern KZN. A bystander reportedly noticed the young girl floating on her back in the surf zone and he recognised that she was in distress. According to an eyewitness the member of the public grabbed an NSRI pink rescue buoy, that was stationed at Mtunzini Beach, and on reaching the child used the pink rescue buoy to help her to stay afloat while other members of the public formed a human chain to help to get them safely to shore.
  • Police opened an inquest docket into the suspected drowning of a 30-year-old man who was recovered from the beach at Dolphin Bay by police search and rescue, assisted by NSRI Port Edward, on December 22.
  • On December 11, 2021, in Tinley Manor, a 17-year-old girl suffered non-fatal drowning symptoms after being swept out to sea in rip currents. NSRI medics initiated medical treatment and care of the patient, which were taken over by Netcare 911 paramedics who transported the girl to hospital in a serious but stable condition, and she has since made a full recovery.
  • Police and the NSRI searched for a missing person in the Umvoti River in the Glendale area. No sign of the missing person was found and police are continuing the search.

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