NSRI issues 'full moon spring tide' warning - public urged to take extreme caution on the coast

JANUARY 11, 2017

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) has urged for extreme caution around the coastline between the 12th and the 16th of January as this month's Full Moon appears on Thursday.

"This means that the twice monthly Spring Tide (which occurs every month at Full Moon and at New Moon) peaks on Thursday 12th January," the NSRI warned.

"Spring Tides happen twice every month, at full moon and at new moon, and bring higher than normal high tides, lower than normal low tides and stronger than normal rip currents around the coastline. There are two high tides and two low tides every day.

"The Full Moon Spring Tide is now in its full intensity peaking on the Full Moon day, Thursday 12th January, and gradually lessening in intensity towards about Monday, 16th of January."

The NSRI said that anyone visiting beaches from today, will notice that the twice daily high tides are higher than normal, and the twice daily low tides are lower than normal, and rip currents are at their strongest intensity and this phenomenon peaks on Thursday 12th January and will last until at least Monday, 16th January.

"The concern is that over this coming weekend, hot weather will bring more learners, students and families, making the best of their last few days on holiday before returning to schools, work and to Universities, to beaches over this high risk time where rip currents are going to be strongest because of the full moon spring tide," it said.

NSRI are urging bathers, paddlers and anglers to be aware of this Full Moon Spring Tide happening at a time when most families will be visiting the beach (coastline) and extreme caution around the coast is advised.

  • Go to beaches only where and when lifeguards are on duty and swim between the safe demarcated swimming zones that lifeguards post at beaches using their red and yellow flags.
  • Paddlers and boaters should download the free app RSA Safetrx to their cellphones – this enables paddlers and boaters to indicate they have an emergency with the push of a button while it gives sea rescue their exact location.

"Rip currents are their strongest when the high tide has already peaked and is dropping towards low tide."

NSRI FREE CELL PHONE “APP” RSA SAFETRX:

NSRI are urging boaters, paddlers, kite-boarders and SUP’s (Stand Up Paddle boarders) to carry cellphones, with fully charged batteries, in water tight plastic sleeves, and with the NSRI’s “RSA SAFETRX” free app downloaded onto their cellphones.

RSA Safetrx download (and information about RSA Safetrx) can be found on the NSRI web page at www.nsri.org.za

"This app enables the user to alert NSRI of an emergency with the press of a button and gives NSRI the exact position of that cellphone (giving us the exact position of the casualty).

"In at least 7 search and rescue operations in the past month sea rescue searches have lasted for up to 3 hours before paddlers were located and rescued and in one case this extended search time went on despite NSRI having direct cellphone contact with a paddler missing at sea but the paddler was not sure of his location after drifting out of his intended paddle route," the NSRI described.

TO REPORT A SEA RESCUE EMERGENCY DIAL 112 FROM A CELLPHONE

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