Summer is here and the holidays are just around the corner, it is vital to be aware of water safety as we tend to spend more time at the beach or poolside.
South Africa (03 December 2021) – The holidays are so close we can already smell the sunscreen! We thought it best to brush up on our water safety awareness, courtesy of the NSRI before heading to the pool or beach.
As South Africa is blessed to have a very hot summer, it is almost a given that we will spend as much time as possible near open bodies of water, whether it be a dam, river, ocean or pool, just to stay cool.
Every year, the NSRI appeals to the public to be cautious and to adopt a safety-conscious mindset when they go down to the beach or to inland waters to swim.
Be aware of rip currents that form constantly throughout every day in normal wave action along the coastline and only swim at beaches protected by lifeguards. The NSRI has released an in-depth guide to learn about them here.
These are some helpful summer water safety tips.
- Only swim at beaches where and when lifeguards are on duty. They are only on duty from 10 am to 6 pm. Also, always swim between their flags, that way they can spot you faster should you be in distress.
- Don’t drink and swim, same applies to driving obviously.
- Don’t swim alone and also don’t leave children unsupervised ever, not even for a second.
- Children should be wearing safety floatation devices such as armbands, life jackets, and pool rings if they are not strong swimmers.
- When pools are not in use, gates should be closed, or pool nets need to be placed over the water to prevent children or animals from falling in the water.
- Take note of how to identify rip currents at the beach using the video and post above.
- Take note of all emergency contact numbers for your area or the area you will be staying at and save them on your phone. The universal number for the emergencies in SA is 112 on your cellphone.
- Pool floats should be avoided when windy. They can easily be blown towards deeper water.
- All water users should avoid being distracted by social media and constantly be aware of what is happening around them.
- Learn CPR, just in case; it is a useful skill to have no matter the season or reason.
The NSRI is about to embark on its busiest season, along with lifeguards and other emergency services so take care when travelling, swimming and all ’round holidaying. The NSRI rely on donations so if you would like to support them through the summer holidays, you can donate here.