More lifeguards to man Cape Town beaches

Sunday, December 17, 2017

With more holidaymakers gravitating towards the coast, the City of Cape Town has increased the number of lifeguards on its beaches.

The city has cautioned the public to stay safe this summer at its amenities. Each year, more than two million people flock to the city’s beaches during the peak summer season. 

“Ordinarily, the city has more than 270 trained and accredited temporary lifeguards and over 1 500 volunteer lifeguards on duty, as well as the voluntary services of the various lifesaving clubs affiliated to Lifesaving Western Province. 

“This year, the Recreation and Parks Department has a pool of 100 additional lifeguards for deployment as needed,” said the city’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security and Social Services, JP Smith.

Smith said the arrangement was made to compensate for the closure of many municipal swimming pools that will more than likely see an increase in visitor numbers to beaches and tidal pools.

The city said much of its success will depend on the cooperation of the public.

“We still have far too many people who swim outside of the designated bathing areas and who disregard the instructions of lifeguards. Alcohol is the other major factor that bedevils our efforts to ensure public safety,” said Smith.

As of Wednesday, 13 December 2017, two drownings were recorded at Mnandi Beach on the False Bay coast, with both victims being young girls.

Lifeguards will be deployed between 10am and 6pm daily to 22 beaches until 31 January 2018. Thereafter, lifeguards will be deployed to beaches only on weekends and public holidays until 31 March 2018.

The following beaches will have lifeguards on duty: Big Bay, Bikini, Blue Waters, Camps Bay, Clifton, Danger, Fish Hoek, Gordon's Bay, Hout Bay, Kalk Bay, Kogel Bay, Llandudno Beach, Macassar Beach, Melkbosstrand, Milnerton, Mnandi, Monwabisi, Muizenberg, Silwerstroom, Strand, Strandfontein Beach, and Sunrise. 

The city reminded beach-goers that alcohol is not permitted at any of its beaches or swimming pools.

It said that more than two-thirds of injuries and drownings involve people who are under the influence of alcohol. 

Any alcohol found on beaches will be confiscated by law enforcement.

“Since 1 December, some 3 700 litres of alcohol have been confiscated from beaches and other public spaces. We expect the amount of confiscated alcohol to increase significantly in the weeks ahead.

“I implore the public to please use common sense when they are out and about on the roads and at recreational facilities. Alcohol impairs one’s judgement and leads to reckless and irresponsible behaviour that endangers the affected person as well as others who want to enjoy our beaches,” said Smith.

The public can access a list of water safety tips on: www.capetown.gov.za/Explore%20and%20enjoy/visitor-safety/general-safety-awareness/water-safety-at-pools-and-beaches. - SAnews.gov.za

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