Swim safely this summer Swim safely this summer

2016-11-10 06:00

THE public is warned to be extra cautious when swimming at the beach, in rivers or swimming pools.

This warning comes from SAPS after a number of people drowned recently in Durban and South Coast areas. Educational and awareness campaigns were held in the province to promote safety at recreational facilities or in the sea.

As the festive season approaches, drowning is an ever-present risk when people go on to rivers, beaches, dams and swimming pools.

Many incidents of drowning are linked to the misuse of alcohol and recklessness.

Water safety tips to be followed:

• Before entering the sea, swimmers must watch the waves and avoid places where there is a strong backwash, obvious rip currents or a danger of being washed onto the rocks.

• Check the weather and the tides before you leave home – if the sea is too rough, you could be swept away.

• Only enter where the waves are straight and gentle.

• If you experience a strong current, get out of the sea, or at least, do not go in deep.

• Never swim while intoxicated. Alcohol impairs judgement and unnecessary risks are taken. An intoxicated swimmer will tire more easily, increasing the chance of an accident or drowning.

• Check with the lifeguards on duty what the surf conditions are before entering the sea.

• Only swim in designated areas that are supervised by lifeguards.

• If the lifeguards give you directions or instructions from the beach, obey them.

• Look out for warning signs and flags – a red flag means it is dangerous to swim.

• A red-and-yellow flag means lifeguards are on duty and you should only swim in the area between the flags.

• Avoid swimming immediately after a big meal, as there is a danger of having cramps.

• Do not dive into shallow seawater – many paraplegics broke their necks by diving into shallow pools and dams.

• Do not swim in river mouths, in dirty water, very early in the mornings, early evenings or after it had rained as shark activity increases in these conditions. Also do not swim when bluebottles are present as they are poisonous.

• Never leave a young child unattended near water and never make a child responsible for another child – not even for five minutes. Teach children to always ask permission to go near water.

• If a child is missing, check the water first - seconds count in preventing drowning or permanent disability.

• Swimming aids, such as water wings or noodles, are fun toys for children, but they should never be used instead of approved flotation devices.

- Supplied.


Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.