Ricochet News

Buffalo City Municipality deploys additional lifeguards after drownings at beaches

Dec 12, 2018
Buffalo City Municipality deploys additional lifeguards after drownings at beaches

As part of its contingent measures for thousands expected at its beaches, the Buffalo City Municipality is calling on beach-goers to exercise caution this festive season.

"This follows three drowning incidents in the last week, which spiked the toll to five drownings since September 2018, with three fatalities and two rescues," the Metro said.

It said that it has since deployed an additional 33 life guards to beef up its contingent of 19, in anticipation of the influx of visitors to its beaches.

Buffalo City Municipality life guards will be at beaches until next year

"Life guards have been operational since Sunday and will be at the Metro's beaches until 31 January 2019.

"The peak season operational times will be between 07:00-18:00 at the following beaches: Gonubie beach, Bonza Bay Beach, Nahoon Beach, Eastern Beach, Orient Complex and Waterworld Complex," the Municipality said.

"The City will be part of a joint operational centre, together with SAPS, Provincial government, Social Development, Provincial Safety, Provincial Transport and Disaster Management."

It added that it will also put in a total of 72 additional ablution facilities around the beaches.

"There will also be road and traffic control measures to manage the influx at the beaches."

Buffalo City Municipality Water Safety tips: 

• Do NOT swim under the influence of alcohol or other substances
• Swim in demarcated areas (NO FLAGS NO SWIMMING)
• Never swim alone
• Listen to the Lifeguards 
• Avoid River mouths and Rocky areas
• Swim where there is a lot of white water
• Do NOT swim in clothing (use a bathing costume) as clothing drags you down
• Know your limits and do not swim out of your depth or where you do not feel comfortable
• Do NOT swim after hours 
• If in trouble, try to stay calm and alert the Lifeguards by waving BOTH hands above your head. 
• In Rip Currents (if you cannot make it back to shore) swim sideways until you are in the white water and let the waves wash you to shore.

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