Remember when surfers protested against the lockdown beach ban? Well, here’s an update and a feel-good story we never knew we needed!
KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa (11 June 2021) – In January this year, a group of surfers protested in Durban against the beach ban imposed by the government as a measure against COVID 19. This effectively banned South Africans from crossing a beach to get to the water.
Professional surfer Beyrick de Vries joined a group of surfers to protest the ban and raise awareness of how poorly thought out the ban was. The group surfed off New Pier in Durban; however, instead of crossing the beach, the group left Durban harbour in a boat to not cross the beach.
Members from the Durban Metro Search and Rescue were dispatched to the scene and escorted the surfers back to Durban harbour, where they were warned and released.
The ban was soon lifted.
De Vries hosts monthly board meetings sponsored by coffee company Ella. They are held to shine the light on South Africans who serve fellow South Africans. Last month, firefighters who worked tirelessly to fight the horrific Cape Town fire were the guests at the Ella board meeting.
On Thursday, de Vries invited members of Durban Metro Search and Rescue to join him in the surf at his monthly Ella Board Meeting.
“It was a gesture to thank the Metro cops for all the work they do. It is not them who make the rules,” said de Vries on Durban beach this morning.
“At the protest earlier this year, these same members had to leave their breakfast to come and sort us out. The least we could do is make up for this and, together with Ella coffee, we hosted a lekker brekkie for them”.
Durban Metro Metropolitan Police Service spokesman, Senior Superintendent Parboo Sewpersad, welcomed the gesture on behalf of his members.
“This is really a lovely gesture for our members of the Durban Metro Search and Rescue unit. These members are highly committed outfit that search for people and return them to their families. Sometimes they have the gruesome task of retrieving bodies – over 3000 last year alone. Today, Beyrick and his team from Ella Coffee recognised the team’s great work, and we are thankful to them for that.
De Vries added, “for us, it was an absolute pleasure to host these members – I even had the pleasure of teaching them to surf!”