Durban - With universities and schools breaking for December and families beginning their December break, the sea rescue institute is urging public awareness about spring tides around this approaching full moon spring tide, which peaks on Sunday.
This is to highlight safety around the coast and general safety among bathers and boaters at the coast and at inland rivers, dams, lakes and at swimming pools.
Beach bathers and shoreline anglers will be most at risk this coming weekend.
The NSRI said the full moon spring tide which peaks on Sunday, means that from Thursday, November 30, high tide and low tides will gradually start to increase in intensity, peaking on Sunday.
Spring tide happens twice every month, at full moon and at new moon.
It brings a higher than normal high tide and a lower than normal low tide, causing stronger than normal rip currents.
Rip currents are caused when the water reaches the shoreline in waves, and sea currents retreat back into the sea - this is achieved in rip currents (a river of water retreating through the incoming swells back out into the sea).
What to do if caught in a rip current
Bathers should not panic. Stay afloat by treading water (moving your arms and legs in circular movements). Don’t try to swim against the current, as it will only cause you exhaustion, and let the current sweep you out to sea. But at your first opportunity, swim parallel to the beachfront until you are free of the rip current and then use the incoming waves to get back to shore.
It might assist your cause to scream for help and wave to alert people on the beach to raise the alarm that you are in trouble.