The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) says strong rip currents are the cause of most of the seven drownings reported since Christmas Day along South Africa’s coastline.

NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon says most of the 15 serious incidents reported at sea since Tuesday occurred at beaches that are not protected by lifeguards.

Lambinon has again appealed to the public to swim where there are lifeguards on duty.

“The urgency is to appeal to go to lifeguard protected beaches only, and only to swim in between the flags posted. Lifeguards are looking out for where the strong rip currents are forming and they post those flags to avoid those rip currents, we continue to urge to adopt safety conscious mind-sets in and around water.”