Busy festive season for beach rescue services
The City’s lifeguards and other emergency services responded to more than a dozen non-fatal drownings since the start of the summer season.
In the latest incidents on Sunday, 2 January 2022, a female in her 30s was transported to hospital from St. James Beach, while a 30-year-old male received medical attention before being transported to hospital from Monwabisi Beach.
The number of fatal drowning incidents recorded along the city’s coastline stands at 10, since September.
On New Year’s Day, a 10-year old girl drowned at Strand Beach, and just hours later, an adult male was swept off the rocks at Graaff’s pool in Sea Point.
‘Our wish for our residents and visitors is always just to have a safe and enjoyable experience at our public facilities, and so these incidents have certainly cast a pall on our festive season. I want to convey my sincerest condolences to the families who have lost loved ones to drowning this season. To those who have been hospitalised or are recovering from the trauma of a non-fatal drowning, I wish you a speedy recovery,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Patricia Van der Ross.
The City’s Social Development and Early Childhood Development Department, meanwhile, has tagged 76 725 children since its annual Identikidz project launched in mid-December. During the three-week period, 183 children were successfully reunited with their families.
Over the new year’s weekend, a total of 27 272 children were tagged at participating beaches. A total of 38 children were reunited with their families – including 10 at Strandfontein, and five at Camp’s Bay.
‘We had a slow start to New Year’s day due to the weather, but it cleared up nicely in the afternoon, and we saw an increase in visitors and children being tagged. I think it is safe to say that Identikidz is once again proving its worth as an extra layer of protection and peace of mind for our beachgoers. To those beachgoers who are making use of the project, we say thank you, and if you haven’t yet, next time you visit the beach, please stop by and find out more about it, and how it can benefit your children.
‘Also, to all of our staff doing duty on our beaches, from the lifeguards to the Beach Buddies to the Identikidz staff and officials from our sister departments, I express my sincere gratitude for your hard work and the long hours. While the peak of the festive season is now behind us, we are mindful that there are still a few more weeks of school holidays left, which means our beaches and public spaces will remain fairly busy. I call on staff to continue being vigilant at all times, but also renew my call to the public to play an active role in their personal safety,’ added Councillor Van der Ross.