The holidays are so close we can already smell the sunscreen and pool/beachside cocktails but before getting too excited, let’s brush up on water safety.
South Africa – There are only two to three weeks left before the holidays start (if you have a nice boss), so before you jet off, drive to your beach holiday or just flop into your own pool, let’s refresh the water safety tips.
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.
The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) shared its annual water safety report which includes the contact numbers of all the departments in every province as well as how to identify a riptide or rip current and what to do should you get swept up by one.
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 for 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.
- As mentioned, the NSRI wish for you to know how to survive a rip current. Take a look at their poster below.
“If you swim between the lifeguard flags they will make sure that you are safe and well away from rip currents. If for some reason this is not possible do not swim.”
- 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.