Spring Tide will peak on the morning of the 21st December and last up until about Christmas day.
We are appealing for special caution when bathing, paddling, boating, angling and surfing and urging people along the coast to be careful during the festive season.
The Spring tide puts bathers and anglers at most risk. (Bathers may be swept out to sea by the stronger than normal rip currents and anglers may be swept off rocks by the higher than normal high tide).
If you are caught in a rip current while bathing in the ocean you will be swept out to sea despite your best efforts to swim towards shore.
Don’t panic – stay afloat and tread water.
Don’t try to swim against the current it will only cause you to become exhausted.
Wave your arms for help – to activate people on shore to alert the lifeguards and to call the NSRI.
The further out to sea you are swept the slower the rip-current gets as it disperses itself into the ocean.
At your first opportunity swim parallel to the beach line in order to get yourself free of the rip.
Once free of the rip swim towards shore using the incoming waves to aid your progress.
The South African coastline experiences extremely strong rip-currents throughout the year and bathers should exercise caution at all times as rip-currents are the greatest cause of drowning accidents around our coastline.
The Spring Tide at new moon and again at full moon, twice every month, bring the strongest rip currents and bathers and anglers should exercise extreme caution.
Children between the ages of 9 and 14 are statistically at greatest risk to drowning accidents (according to statistics by the Medical Research Council) and children should have responsible adult supervision around water – swimming pools, dams, rivers, lagoons and the coast – at all times.
Boaters and paddlers should wear life-jackets at all times while on our waters, carry safety equipment and always let a responsible person know what time you are leaving, your exact route and your expected time of arrival. Stick to your route and check-in with the responsible person on your safe return.
SA Lifesaving are urging bathers to go to beaches only where and when lifeguards are on duty. Identify where the lifeguards are on the beach. Swim only between the safe swimming zones posted by lifeguards, using red and yellow flags, on the beach each day. Lifeguards will move the safe swimming zones regularly throughout the day (depending on where they detect the strongest rip-currents to be) and bathers should heed to the lifeguards requests to move to swim between these flags.
Don’t venture too deep into the water and children should have a responsible person watching over them while they are swimming.
Apply sunscreen regularly, wear a hat, drink plenty of water regularly to hydrate and know where your children are at all times.
Anglers should wear life-jackets while angling. There is the ever present risk of being swept off rocks by waves while angling and we urge anglers to be extremely cautious and never turn your back on the sea.
Avoid alcohol consumption if you are going boating or swimming.
Everyone should have planned emergency procedures that can kick in when an emergency develops.