Take precautions when swimming – South Coast Herald
Water has claimed the lives of many young and old this holiday season.
A 10-year-old boy drowned while swimming in the Mtwalume River last Tuesday.
It is alleged that the youngster went with his friends to swim in the lagoon where he got into difficulty and drowned.
Police spokesman Captain Petros Minge said the body was being recovered by SAPS members from the Port Shepstone K9 Search and Rescue Unit.
Medevac paramedics also helped
Police are currently searching the Mzimkhulu River for a 15-year-old boy who drowned in Gumatana in the St Faiths area on January 7.
ST Faiths SAPS has opened a case file for an investigation into the teenager’s drowning.
The mission of the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), lifeguards, ambulance, fire and rescue services, SA police departments and local law enforcement agencies, focuses on reducing drowning accidents along the coastline, waters and at indoor swimming pools.
NSRI appeals to coastal bathers only to swim on beaches protected by lifeguards and to swim between the flags of the safe swimming area of lifeguards on the beach.
Lifeguards routinely move these flags when they detect forming rip currents and appeal to the public to obey lifeguards’ instructions to only swim between their flags.
Families visiting the beach should approach lifeguards if they are separated from family members or need assistance.
They ask parents to ensure that a designated responsible person watches over children in and around coastal and inland waters and in swimming pools.
NSRI has developed a safety monitor identification tag to be worn by the responsible person watching the children while they swim, and to regularly change that responsible watch person watching the children every half hour, to ensure ensure that this designated person is not distracted by phone calls or conversations during their supervision period.
Do not drink alcohol, then go swimming, boating, paddling or flooring
If you get caught in a rip current don’t panic, stay afloat using the air in your lungs for natural buoyancy and the water for tread, moving your arms and legs in circular motions, to keep your head above water. Go with the rip current, don’t try to swim against the current. Call for help. At your first opportunity swim on the beach front until you are free from the rip current then use the waves to get to the beach.
red flares and sky lanterns:
NSRI appeals to the public not to set red flares during celebrations. Red distress flares are intended for use only in emergencies and automatically trigger an emergency response.
They are also appealing to the public not to put up sky lanterns. While sky lanterns pose a fire hazard, they are often taken as red distress flares and often cause NSRI and emergency services to engage in search operations and lengthy surveys in order to ensure that there were no people in any distress.
NSRI Pink Lifebuoys:
The NSRI, in cooperation with local municipalities, has placed pink lifebuoys along the coastline and inland waters to be used as a safety flotation device for those in distress.
These pink NSRI lifebuoys have been responsible for saving 84 lives in South African waters since the program launched in 2017.
Removing a pink lifebuoy from its mast removes the possibility of saving a life – unless the buoy is removed for use in a life-threatening aquatic emergency.
If you find a pink lifebuoy that is not on its pole please report it to the NSRI on 021 434 4011 or drop it off at your nearest police station or surf shop, so the buoy pink rescue may be returned to active duty.
With heavy rains affecting parts of South Africa, the NSRI is calling on the public not to swim or try to cross rivers that are swollen or inundated by heavy rains.
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