Swimmers at Fish Hoek beach. (Photo by Gallo Images/ER Lombard)
- Scores of people flocked to the beach and public pools in Cape Town after temperatures reached over 30 degrees on Saturday.
- The City of Cape Town said it was concerned by the amount of alcohol brought to beaches.
- Three people drowned on Saturday.
The City of Cape Town’s law enforcement was stretched this past weekend as thousands flocked to beaches to cool off.
The City’s safety and security portfolio committee chairperson Mzwakhe Nqavashe said the numbers of people on the beach had been high, with most beaches at capacity in Cape Town.
“Enforcement agencies have been stretched to ensure the safety of residents on beaches. Our biggest concern is that beach goers are using non-bathing areas as well,” he said.
On Saturday, Nqavashe was out with City law enforcement where they saw that from opposite the Muizenberg big circle north towards Muizenberg beach, people were out enjoying the beach with their children, cooler boxes, and water bottles.
“We noticed a number of people bringing alcohol onto the beaches, which is prohibited,” he added.
“Our enforcement agencies have a zero alcohol approach. I must re-emphasise that bringing alcohol or coming to the beach having consumed alcohol is totally prohibited as it is often associated with anti-social behavioural elements that pose a threat to everyone’s safety and enjoyment in public spaces,” he said.
Scores of people flocked to the beaches and public pools in Cape Town after temperatures reached over 30 degrees on Saturday.
According to Mayco member for community services and sealth, Patricia van der Ross, Saturday was one of the busiest beach days in the last few years.
“I am proud of the massive effort put in by all our services over the weekend and I especially want to celebrate the commitment of our lifeguards,” she said.
There were three drownings on Saturday, while 134 people were rescued.
The three drowned at Clovelly, Monwabisi East, and Strand outside of designated bathing areas at unguarded beaches or beyond the hours when lifeguards were on duty.
“[The lifeguards’] hard work and dedication to serving the public under challenging circumstances should be commended,” said Van der Ross.
One-hundred-and-twenty-seven help-outs – rescues where a potential drowning was avoided – were recorded by City lifeguards on duty. There were also six near fatal drownings recorded which resulted in successful rescues by City lifeguards.
“Additional first aid cases, including dislocations, seizures, facial injuries, and minor cuts, and bruises, were also attended to by lifeguards,” Van der Ross added.
She said that six children – four at Camps Bay on Saturday and two at Muizenberg on Sunday – had to be handed over to the Provincial Department of Social Development as they could not be reunited with their parents or caregivers by nightfall.
NSRI spokesperson, Craig Lambinon, said they – along with lifeguards, emergency services, and police – attended to a “disturbing number” of fatal and near-fatal drowning accidents over the past four days around the coast and on inland waters over the past weekend.
We are appealing to the public to have safety at the top of their mind in and around water. Swim at lifeguard-protected beaches only during the lifeguards’ duty hours.
The NSRI encouraged parents to ensure that a responsible adult who is able to swim and is dedicated to constantly being on watch is present while children are swimming.
News24 previously reported a deceased 16-year-old boy’s body was located and recovered underwater by a police scuba diver at Pelican Island near Richards Bay.
This followed after NSRI Richards Bay duty crew were activated yesterday around 13:30 to assist the police in responding to the boy who had disappeared in the water while swimming with four friends.
“Sadly he was declared deceased. The body of the teenager has been taken into the care of Government Health Forensic Pathology Services,” said NSRI Richards Bay duty coxswain, Jacques Kruger.
The police have opened an inquest docket.
“Condolences are conveyed to the family,” said Kruger.