Lifeguards have been lauded for their efforts as the City of Cape Town recorded its busiest beach day in three years. File Photo: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
Lifeguards have been lauded for their efforts as the City of Cape Town recorded its busiest beach day in three years. File Photo: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

Lifeguards commended as City of Cape Town recorded its busiest beach day in three years

By Robin-Lee Francke Time of article published Jan 11, 2022

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CAPE TOWN - The City of Cape Town said it reported its busiest beach day in three years on Saturday as thousands of people flocked to its beaches and pools to escape from the heat.

Mayoral committee member for community services and health, Councillor Patricia van der Ross commended personnel for their services at the weekend.

“Saturday was one of the busiest beach days in the last few years, and our staff have certainly stepped up,” she said.

While three people died due to drownings on Saturday, van der Ross said 134 lives were saved by dedicated lifeguards.

“The fatal drownings took place outside of designated bathing areas at unguarded beaches or beyond the hours when lifeguards were on duty, at Clovelly, Monwabisi East and Strand.

“In addition, a total of 127 help-outs were recorded by City lifeguards on duty. These are rescues where a potential drowning was avoided and are in addition to the countless preventative actions taken by the lifeguards prior to a rescue being required, but also the additional rescues performed by voluntary lifeguards on duty at the 15 lifesaving clubs around the coast,” she said.

Van der Ross said lifeguards also managed to rescue six people from drowning, and additional first aid cases, including dislocations, seizures, facial injuries and minor cuts and bruises, were also attended to by lifeguards.

The City’s social development and early childhood development department tagged 21 507 children over the weekend and reunited 155 children with their parents or guardians.

“Unfortunately, six children (four at Camps Bay on January 8, and two at Muizenberg on January 9) had to be handed over to the Provincial Department of Social Development as they could not be reunited with their parents or caregivers by nightfall. The six children were not tagged, and caregivers/parents are encouraged to make use of the Identikidz programme,” van der Ross said.

She said Identikidz staff tagged 98 232 children so far and reunited 338 with their families.

While there are still hot days ahead, she encouraged parents to tag their children at participating beaches which will save everyone from worry and trauma.

The Identikidz programme will continue to run on January 15 and 16.

Identikiz staff can be found at Muizenberg, Fish Hoek and Strandfontein in the south; Gordon’s Bay, Strand, Monwabisi, Harmony Park, and Mnandi in the east; Big Bay, Sea Point and surrounding area, Silverstroom, Camps Bay, Lagoon Beach, Melkbosstrand, and Millerton Beach.

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