Marcus Oshry is a NSRI coxswain and WaterWise Instructor in Port Elizabeth … here is what Marcus has to say about beach safety:
One of my favorite questions to ask a group of learners is where you should be swimming at the beach.
I had an answer that stopped me in my tracks the other day. A little boy said … “wherever my dad tells me to.”
This was a great answer. I then asked him if his dad was a strong swimmer. He said that his dad can’t swim at all and never goes near the water.
This is what stopped me in my tracks.
He also said that his dad makes him swim where there are no other people so that he doesn’t get knocked over. Being the inquisitive man that I am I had to carry on quizzing the youngster. I asked him if his swimming spot was near the lifeguard flags and he said no because there were too many people there to knock him over.
I was horrified to learn that parents are prepared to risk their children’s lives by not obeying the lifeguard flags on a beach. This father was letting his child swim far away from anyone who could possibly assist him if he got into trouble or got caught in a rip current.
There would be nobody to help him as even his father couldn’t swim.
WaterWise teaches children to choose to visit a beach that lifeguards are on duty at and to only swim between their flags.
The WaterWise Academy is proudly sponsored by TNPA.