With the festive season on our doorstep, there will be an influx of holiday makers and tourists, who will be making their way down to the Durban beaches.
The drownings of children and adults have often marred the jovial mood of beachgoers, which is why the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) is urging people to make sure that they always swim at beaches where there are lifeguards on duty.
The organisation has also compiled a list of safety tips with the aim of keeping beach goers safe during the summer months. Lifeguards conduct various duties at different beaches and it is very important to listen to their advice and to talk to them about safety on the beach that you are visiting. If there are no lifeguards on duty, do not swim there.
The institute also advised people to always swim between the lifeguard red and yellow flags. By doing so, this means that lifeguards will be watching you at all times and you can quickly get assistance if there is a problem. If you need help, simply wave your arms and the lifeguard will come to your rescue.
“The consumption of alcohol and swimming is strictly not advised for anyone who visits the beach, river or dams. It eliminates your swimming ability and it may also lead to poor decision-making. Make sure to always go swimming with a buddy and never go swimming alone. This is so that there will always be someone who can call out for help if it is needed,” said Siyabonga Mthethwa, NSRI water safety instructor.
Mthethwa advised that in the case that someone is drowning and there is no lifeguard on duty but there is a pink rescue buoy present, throw it into the water to assist the person with flotation.
“It is extremely dangerous to get into the water to rescue someone, rather throw anything that floats to them. A stick or rope can also assist in removing them from the water without endangering yourself by going in to help,” added Mthethwa.
You can call for help by dialing 112 from a cellphone. Alternatively, you can contact the NSRI Durban Station 5 on 082-990-5948. Beachgoers are advised to have their nearest Sea Rescue station telephone number before going to the beach.
Water safety instructors from the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) normally conduct free, informative and educational presentations on water safety. Should any school or organisation wish to receive an age appropriate lesson, they can contact water safety instructor, Siyabonga Mthethwa on 078-433-8659. Alternatively, send an email to email@example.com.
This article was republished from Phoenix Sun with permission