Lifeguard saves teens

2015-10-13 06:00
Senior lifeguard Mzikayise Jacobs from Mandalay saved two teens from a rip current at Camps Bay beach, where he is stationed, on Saturday 3 October. 

Samantha Lee

Senior lifeguard Mzikayise Jacobs from Mandalay saved two teens from a rip current at Camps Bay beach, where he is stationed, on Saturday 3 October. PHOTO: Samantha Lee

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A quick response by a lifeguard saved the lives of two teens at Camps Bay beach last weekend.

Senior lifeguard Mzikayise Jacobs from Mandalay says two boys, aged 16 and 17 years, were swimming on Saturday 3 October between 16:30 and 17:00.

“We were doing crowd control on the west side of the beach when we saw the teens swimming. We blew the whistles but they did not take note. My colleague then blew the whistle again,” he tells People’s Post.

“The one then got caught in a rip current. His friend then tried to help him and also got caught. I noticed he was struggling and my colleague followed. We managed to get them out and swam them to shore where the one was treated for hypothermia.”

Both teens from Kraaifontein survived the ordeal.

“We are very grateful to the Camps Bay lifeguards on duty, whose efficient teamwork ensured the safety of the bathers,” says Belinda Walker, mayoral committee member for community services and special projects.

Jacobs has been a lifeguard for more than 15 years and is one of the 12 new lifeguards permanently employed by the City of Cape Town (“More lifesavers to guard swimmers”, People’s Post, 6 October).

The City has these safety tips for bathers:

. Swim only where there are lifeguards and where signs indicate that it is safe.

. Do not swim in an area if there are no lifeguards present.

. Make sure that the lifeguards can see you when you are in the water.

. Always swim in supervised swimming areas, taking care to avoid dangerous rip currents and tides.

. Only swim in areas where other people are present. Swim in groups and advise friends or family when you go swimming.

. Do not swim when there are marine animals such as whales, dolphins and seals in the area or when a marine animal carcass has washed up onto the beach.

. If you find yourself in trouble, raise your arm and wave to attract a lifeguard’s attention. Try not to panic, as this will make you tired.

. If you see someone in trouble in the sea, alert the lifeguards or find trained help. Do not put your own life in danger as well.

. Do not swim after drinking alcohol.

. Report any drunk beachgoers to the lifeguard.

Jacobs also reminds people not to try and save others if they are not qualified to do so.

“Like in this case where the boy tried to save his friend, he also got into trouble,” he says.

Jacobs says he is passionate about saving lives.

He joined the Mnandi lifesaver club in 1998 and previously swam for the Gugulethu Gunners swimming club.

He encourages youngsters to get involved in lifesaving.

“If you can’t swim, it should not stop you. I would like to encourage the youth to join a swimming club and then a lifesavers club to qualify,” he says.

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