Beware of new moon rip currents - NSRI

2016-12-29 10:15
(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - Bathers have been urged to be extra careful due to super-strong rip currents that come with the new moon on Thursday.

Visitors to Cape Town beaches on Wednesday would have noticed that the high tides were higher than normal, and the low tides were lower than normal, with rip currents at their strongest intensity, National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) spokesperson Craig Lambinon said.

Some beachgoers have already found out about the perilous pull of rip tides - about 14 people had to be rescued at Clifton's Second Beach, Bakoven, Camps Bay and Melkbosstrand, along Cape Town's coastline, in separate incidents on Monday.

Rescuers had their hands full and a long distance swimmer even jumped in to help struggling bathers to safety.

In another incident, a surfer borrowed somebody's boogie board to go out and help bring another struggling bather to the shore.

Thursday at 08:53 marks the occurrence of the new moon, which causes dramatic and dangerous strong tides.

These tides are expected to last until Monday.

The NSRI has advised: 

- Only go to beaches where lifeguards are on duty, and to swim in the zones demarcated by the lifeguards with their red and yellow flags;

- Paddlers and boaters should download the free app, RSA Safetrx, to their cellphones. If they have an emergency, they can just push a button and their exact location will be known.

- The main thing to remember in a rip current is to keep calm and alert somebody by shouting or waving your hands.

To find out more about rip currents go to www.nsri.org.za

Read more on:    nsri  |  drownings  |  maritime  |  festive season

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