Cape Town-121230- Yesterday[121229] was the launch of the new All-terrain, emergency response vehicle at Muizenberg Beach/Pavilion. The vehicle will assist with lifesaving and law enforcement on City's beaches. J.P. Smith [Member of Safety & Security] takes the new vehicle for a test ride. Photo: Ross Jansen

A solar-powered all-terrain vehicle is helping to make Cape Town beaches safer this festive season.

JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety and security, said the emergency response vehicle - which resembles a souped-up golf buggy - would make the work of lifeguards, emergency and disaster management staff and law enforcement officials much easier and enhance the safety of beachgoers.

He said that within 10 minutes of operation the vehicle already showed its usefulness in Muizenberg on Saturday when a group of men, believed to be digging in the sand for mussels, were found.

Smith said the vehicle had space for four people as well as storage. This could, for example, be used to store alcohol seized on the beach or transport people in need of medical care.

“The vehicle can be seen from a distance and will encourage less alcohol on the beach, and that means fewer drownings,” Smith said.

He said the sponsored vehicle was used in Strand and Gordon’s Bay on Sunday, and would be available until the end of the festive season. - The Argus