The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) has appealed to parents and guardians to keep a close eye on children when they are swimming, to avoid drowning incidents. With festive season restrictions requiring several beaches to be closed, people are opting to visit rivers, lakes and dams.
NSRI’s spokesperson Craig Lambinon has called on people to be safety-conscious, “We are obviously having a lot more people down at our beaches, the beaches that are open at least. We are continuing to appeal to people to only swim at beaches when the lifeguards are on duty. We are getting, where beaches are closed, more people going to inland waterways, rivers, dams, lakes and swimming pools. Everybody wants to cool off. We are asking people that if you are with your children at the waterside have someone that is not distracted to physically watch the children while they are in the water.”
Meanwhile, law enforcement officers in the coastal town of Port St John’s in the Eastern Cape are closely monitoring local beaches.
This is to ensure compliance with lockdown regulations and to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Signs with messages that swimming is not allowed can be seen on the beaches. Even roads leading to the beaches are closed. Lifeguard Siphosakhe Nokhamatye says they are on standby for any eventualities.
Port St Johns mayor Nomvuzo Mlombile-Cingo says although the closure of the beaches has cost the coastal town as it is a tourist attraction, it is for a good cause.
“We know that as Port St Johns we depend on tourism for everything that we do and that has taken a fall at this time. There are people who have come to Port St Johns and are here in the BnBs enjoying themselves because Port St Johns is not only about the sea. There’s a lot to enjoy here. We say thanks for respecting that and we believe that in the days and years to come you will continue to enjoy the beauty of this place”