NSRI calls for vigilance, reports several incidents across SA coastline due to rip currents

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Camps Bay beach was closed for swimming this morning due to windy conditions and high tides. A move was taken to safeguard beachgoers from rough water and distress.

The National Sea Rescue Institute says several incidents have been reported across the country over the past few days.

“On Tuesday, 27 December, a tragic incident in the wilderness claimed the life of a 10-year-old girl who suffered a fatal drowning and her siblings were rescued. Police divers are continuing in a search for a 14-year-old Zimbabwean boy who went missing on Christmas day after being swept over the tidal pool at Gqeberha. Investigations by police indicate that it is likely that a 26-year-old George man may be missing at Victoria Bay after failing to return from swimming. An extensive search by George municipal lifeguards, NSRI wilderness and George fire and rescue services, on Tuesday 27th December, revealed no sign of the man who was suspected to have disappeared underwater,” says NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon.

VIDEO: How to spot and avoid rip currents: Dr Cleeve Robertson

The NSRI which has deployed 1 700 volunteers to the coastline and inland waterways has again called on the public to be cautious and to swim in areas where there are lifeguards.

Bathers at Clifton and Camps Bay say they’re remaining vigilant.

“What I do when I look for RIP currents is I look for a trail of bubbles or white water or anywhere you can see the water is leaving the Beach in one direction. For example behind again the rocks there is RIP forming, that is somewhere you need to be wary of and stay away from areas where you can see the water moving away from the beach, so Jah as long as you swim between the flags, you should be fine,” says surfer Nick Clemo.

“All you must do and listen to what lifeguards are saying. Always keep your eyes on your kids because the lifeguards ain’t always going to be there,” says beachgoer Caleb Schoulas.

Other holidaymakers say while they too are aware of the dangers at sea they’re out having fun and enjoying the festivities.

“I am here with some of my friends, kids and family. This time of the year means time for family. It I all about making memories for the wife and kids. I always have the saying, you can buy a child something and two-three years it is lost but memories last forever,” says beachgoer Sean Bratz.

“Christmas is over now and it’s more like family wise and enjoying time with the family until the new year’s before the money runs out,” says Jaden Saunders, Beachgoer.

Emergency services, police and law enforcement officials are also present at beaches in the Mother City to ensure law and order.

VIDEO: Ensuring safety on the Garden Route over festive Route