BOATERS AND PADDLERS:
- Watch the weather forecast and take all the necessary safety precautions into account in order to be prepared for the worst if weather conditions change adversely, or if you unexpectedly find yourself in an emergency situation.
- Always let a responsible person know your time of departure, the route you plan on taking and your estimated return time and make sure you stick to these. Ensure that he or she immediately contacts Sea Rescue if you do not return as scheduled.
- Check that your craft and equipment are in good working order and carry the correct safety approvals and certifications. Make sure your craft has your name and a land- based contact number stenciled on it. Wear a Life-Jacket at all times.
- Store your communication devices, cell-phone and VHF radio, with fully charged batteries in watertight plastic sleeves.
- Carry red distress flares, a signaling mirror or CD disc, a referee’s whistle, a waterproof torch and wear the correct brightly coloured gear, a hat and sunscreen and keep well hydrated.
- Always wear a life-jacket while fishing close to the shore’s edge.
- Be acutely aware of the high and low tides and never turn your back to the sea.
- Take extra precautions during the bi-monthly spring tides.
- Swim only when and where lifeguards are on duty.
- Swim between the lifeguards red and yellow flags and only when they are on duty.
- Watch out for rip-currents. They are the greatest cause of drowning accidents along our coast. They look like rivers of water flowing fast out to sea against the incoming waves and can occur at different places along the coastline regularly throughout the day. If you are caught in a rip-current you’ll immediately realize that you’re being swept out to sea faster than you’re able to swim towards the shore. Here’s what to do:
- Raise one arm in the air and wave to alert people on the shore that you’re in trouble.
- The rip-current force dissipates the further out to sea it gets so at the first chance swim parallel
to the beach until you’re free of the rip, then use the incoming waves to aid your progress to get back to shore.
Find your local Sea Rescue emergency telephone number, and add it to your phone contact list.
To find out your nearest sea rescue emergency number visit www.nsri.org.za.
For an ambulance call 10177 (from any phone).