Danger at PMB pools

2015-12-17 09:45
The red-brick road around the City Hall.

The red-brick road around the City Hall. (Jonathan Burton)

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Pietermaritzburg - Additional lifesavers have been temporarily employed by the municipality following reports that the crowd capacity to a life saver ratio was “catastrophic”.

The municipality has now employed contract lifesavers who will be called in when required.

According to a report submitted to the city’s audit committee, one lifesaver is deployed to every 250 people in a swimming pool.

Lack of funds has also resulted in turnstiles not being installed at some swimming pools.

In addition, the report pointed out the lack of security at the swimming pools could result in a stampede.

“There is money being collected that might result in an armed robbery thus causing a stampede of patrons running for safety,” read the report.

Although various business units have updated the top risks facing the city with corrective measures, “they remain catastrophic”.

“The control deficiencies requires immediate management intervention as … it has the potential to have an extreme impact resulting in major unfavourable consequences,” the report stated.

In addition, R110 285 was reallocated to complete the refurbishment of the Berg Street swimming pool.

• kailene.pillay@witness.co.za

Police have a safety alert to holidaymakers on how to keep safe around water this festive season.

. Before entering the sea, swimmers must take time to watch the waves and must 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;

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

. If the lifeguards give you directions or instructions, follow 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;

. Be considerate of other swimmers, especially when surfing;

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

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

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

. Never swim alone — use the buddy system.

. If you are confronted by a large wave and there is not enough time to swim or move away from it, try to dive underneath the wave. Keep your body as low as possible until the wave has passed over you. Timing is important, dive into the base of the wave just before it breaks. Do not dive if the water is too shallow — instead crouch and keep a low body profile.

. If you are caught in rip currents, relax and swim toward the shore at a 45-degree angle until you are free of the current.

. Never try to swim ashore against the current — it will only tire you.

. If you are not able to swim out of the currents, call or wave for help.

. Never leave a young child unattended near water and never make a child responsible for another child — not even for five minutes.

. Be alert and steer clear of plant of animal life. Jellyfish and other marine animals can cause painful stings or allergic reactions. Brushing up against certain types of seaweed or coral can result in painful scratches and scrapes.

Read more on:    pietermartizburg  |  swimming

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