Appeal to Bathers to Exercise Caution at Beaches and Swimming Pools | Western Cape Government


Appeal to Bathers to Exercise Caution at Beaches and Swimming Pools

31 March 2010

The City of Cape Town, in partnership with Western Province Lifesaving, has deployed 120 surf lifeguards that are on duty at beaches, as well as at regional and community pools across the city, to ensure the safety of bathers over the Easter Weekend.

As an increased number of people are expected to visit the 72 beaches over the Easter Weekend and enjoy the various recreational and leisure activities along the City's 307 km long coastline, a plea is made to bathers to exercise caution when swimming over this busy period.

"Holiday makers visiting beaches who are not familiar with the surroundings and potential hazards, should seek advice from lifeguards," said Wilfred Solomons-Johannes, spokesperson for Disaster Risk Management.

Residents and visitors are encouraged to pay attention to the following safety measures:

  • Swim only where there are lifeguards on duty and where signs indicate that it is safe to swim.
  • Make sure that lifeguards can see you when you are in the water.
  • Don't swim when lifeguards are off duty, such as at night.
  • Always swim between the red and yellow flags. These indicate safe, supervised swimming areas. Areas outside these flags might conceal dangerous currents and tides. Only swim in areas where other people are present.
  • If you find yourself in trouble, raise your arm to attract the lifeguards' attention. Do not panic, as this will tire you.
  • If you see someone in trouble in the sea, alert the lifesavers or find help. Don't put your own life in danger as well.
  • Ensure that you protect your skin from too much exposure to the sun. Too much sun can cause sunstroke. Stay indoors during the hottest time of the day (11:00 - 15:00), and cover yourself with sunscreen, hats and other attire.
  • Don't drink and swim or drive motor boats. Alcohol dulls the senses, slows the reactions and can cause irresponsible behaviour.
  • Know how to do Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), or how to blow air into another person's lungs until help arrives.
  • Don't dive from tidal pool walls that can result in spinal injuries.
  • Do not take out small or unstable boats far from shore in choppy water or stormy weather.
  • Any emergency and/or distress call regarding drowning can be reported to the 107 emergency number from a Telkom line. Cell phone users need to dial 021 480 7700.

Issued by:
Communication Department
City of Cape Town

Media Enquiries: 

Wilfred Solomons-Johannes
Disaster Risk Management Centre
Tel: 080 911 4357
Cell: 084 711 7709