South African beaches remain a popular tourist attraction throughout the year with thousands flocking to the coast for holiday, even during the winter months.

With the beaches growing steadily more crowded as the mid-year school holidays approach, it’s even more important that you up your safety game.

Senior lifeguard for eThekwini Municipality, Aquatic Safety at Bronze Beach in uMhlanga, Anthony Molgora shared his top 10 tips for keeping safe:

  1. Always swim at lifeguard patrolled beaches.

  2. Find the red and yellow flags and swim between them.

  3. Look at the safety signs - they help you identify potential dangers and daily conditions of the beach.

  4. Ask a lifeguard for some good advice - surf conditions can change quickly so always check before you enter the water.

  5. Follow the instructions of lifeguards as it is for your own safety and the safety of others.

  6. Get a friend to swim with you - you should never swim alone. Always supervise small children. Put a wrist band with the parents contact details on. Kids should not be wandering around unsupervised. The ocean has many dangers and lifeguards are not babysitters.

  7. Stick your hand up for help - if you get into trouble in the water, stay calm and raise your arm to signal for assistance. Don’t try to swim against the current or rip, but float with it.

  8. Children who can’t swim should make use of floatation devices.

  9. For sun safety, from 11am to 3pm find a tree, or an umbrella. Remember to “slip, slap, slop”: Slip on a shirt, slap a hat on and slop on sunblock. Reapply sunscreen after swimming and drying off with a towel.

  10. Try avoid bringing valuables to the beach but if you must do so bring electronic goods and keys in waterproof pouches and never leave them unattended to go swimming.