Lifeguards on duty all day

2010-12-20 00:00

HIBISCUS Coast Municipality (HCM) Area beach manager Anton Botha has said that all 24 netted bathing beaches on the Hibiscus Coast are and will continue to be patrolled by lifeguards on a full-time basis during this festive season.

The lifeguards will operate from 7 am until 6 pm every day.

Botha was presenting a detailed seasonal action plan with regards to staffing or deployment of resources to ensure an incident-free holiday-making on the beaches at a council meeting held in Port Shepstone on Wednesday.

Botha confirmed that the six blue flag beaches on the Hibiscus Coast attract an influx of beach fans.

“The Trafalgar, Margate, Rams­gate, Marina, Lucien and Umzumbe beaches will have lifeguards, protection services officers and Tower 13 [private lifeguard company] to tighten safety of the visitors,” said Botha.

“A response team supported by Hibiscus Coast Med-Evac will serve all beach related calls. They will be stationed at Margate beach.”

The Med-Evac team will include two lifeguards and a qualified medic and will be available from 7 am to 7 pm.

Netcare 911 will also be on stand-by in the event of multiple call-outs. Botha explained that the beaches will have cleaning staff throughout the festive season to ensure environmental health and that the beaches are always user-friendly.

Botha warned that the Department of Environmental Affairs has banned digging of sand holes on the beach. This comes after discovering that diggers have left broken glass in the holes in the past.

According to Botha there will be warning signs at Margate beach informing the public about this by-law, which will also be enforced by the traffic officers.

“Permanent HCM beach cleaning staff (80 personnel) will be on duty as normal over the festive period,” said Botha. “No leave will be granted to staff over this period and temporary staff will also be deployed.”

— Witness Reporter.

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