Beware of rip currents

2016-09-01 06:00
Paramedics and KZN VIP security guard at Umdloti beach. Photo: supplied

Paramedics and KZN VIP security guard at Umdloti beach. Photo: supplied

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THE National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) has warned swimmers in the north of Durban to swim within the demarcated areas and obey the instructions of lifeguards to avoid tragedy.

This comes after a teenager, Rylan Moses from Johannesburg, drowned at Umdloti Beach on 21 Augus­t while swimming with a friend.

NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon told the Weekly that the sea is at its roughest at spring tide.

“We urge bathers to go to beaches where and when lifeguards are on duty and obey the instructions of lifeguards and swim within the safe swimming demarcated zones lifeguards post using their red and yellow flags.

“Swimming at beaches that are not protected by lifeguards is prohibited.

“We also urge the community to learn as much as they can about rip currents before swimming in the sea,” he said.

“Rip currents are a natural phenomenon.

“As the water reaches the beach in waves the water returns to the ocean in rip currents.

“Rip currents form at different places constantly,” he added.

“If you are caught in a rip current do not try to swim against it because you become exhausted.

“Tread water by moving your arms and legs in circular movements to stay afloat.

“Shout for help so that people on the beach can alert lifeguards or the NSRI.

“Swim parallel to the beach until free of the rip current and then use the incoming waves to get back to shore.”

He said that during spring tide which happens twice a month, at full moon and again at new moon, high tide is higher and low tide
is lower and rip currents are stronger.

“Bathers should be aware of the spring tide on the coastline,” said Lombinon.

Rylan’s body was found by fisherman at the beach on 27 August four days after he went missing.

Head of KZN VIP Protection Glen Naidoo said: “The fishermen found the body at the beach and contacted the family in Johannesburg.

“The family contacted us to assist. Upon arrival at the scene we contacted the police and the body was taken to Phoenix mortuary,” he said.

According to Candace-Anne Grobler from IPSS Medical Rescue the deceased was identified by his family at the scene.

“IPSS Medical Rescue together with SAPS Search and Rescue Lifeguards and fishermen recovered the body of the 19-year old boy who went missing a few days ago at Umdloti beach.

“The body was decomposed, but family members were able to identify him,” she said.

The teenager’s friend was rescued said paramedics.

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