NSRI urges extreme caution on the coastline over the next few days

JULY 20, 2016

Storm conditions, strong gale force winds, rough seas, heavy sea swells and big surf conditions coupled with the full moon Spring tide will cause dangerous sea, surf and coastal shoreline conditions over the next 5 to 6 days, says the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI).

"The SA Weather Service has posted alerts warning of rough seas, storm conditions, strong gale force winds and storm surges and they are monitoring weather data charts to adapt warnings accordingly," said NSRI spokesperson, Craig Lambinon.

"The full moon Spring tide peaks today [Wednesday], 20th July, and will add to the (forecast) storm weather conditions and cause dangerous sea, surf and shoreline conditions.

"Spring tide conditions will last into the early part of next week."

He said that spring tide happens twice every month of the year, at full moon and at new moon, bringing higher than normal high tides, lower than normal low tides, and stronger than normal rip currents.

Thus the NSRI is urging boaters, paddlers, bathers, sailors and anglers to be cautious around the coast during these storm conditions.

"We urge sea users to watch weather warnings, have the sea rescue emergency phone number 112 programmed into your phone and only go to sea if it is absolutely necessary.

"Anglers fishing along the shoreline, hikers hiking along coastal hiking routes, beach strollers, paddlers and boaters should be vigilant of the tides, breaking surf along the shoreline, higher than normal high tides, lower than normal low tides, stronger than normal rip currents and rough sea conditions," added Lambinon.

"Anyone launching any kind of craft to go to sea should let a responsible person know your launch time, your exact route and your return time. Stick to your intended plan and let the responsible person know of your safe return."

Boaters and paddlers can make use of the NSRI free phone app RSA SafeTrx to further enhance personal safety - see SafeTrx on the NSRI web page www.nsri.org.za. Boaters and paddlers should carry safety equipment easily accessible while on your voyage - wear a properly fitting life-jacket when underway on water, carry red distress flares, a cellphone with emergency numbers programmed into your phone and the phone in water tight sleeves and fully charged, a hand-held VHF radio, a referee whistle, a signalling mirror or computer CD disc that can be worn around the neck and used with sunlight to signal your position to search parties, bright and reflective clothing, reflective tape on your craft and a water proof torch. 

This NSRI alert is intended as a warning to the public to be cautious, responsible and safe around the coastline and to exercise responsible safety at sea during the (forecast) dangerous weather conditions affecting the coastline during this period.