Rip currents during the peak of the New Moon Spring Tide caused two incidents in the Southern Cape.
On Wednesday, 24th September, 17h59, NSRI Mossel Bay were alerted to children being swept out to sea in rip currents at Hartenbos, near Mossel Bay.
Police, WC Government Health EMS and NSRI Mossel Bay, who launched the sea rescue craft VODACOM RESCUER IV, responded and on NSRI’s arrival on-scene EMS paramedics were attending to a 60 year old man, from Upington, who reportedly got into difficulty in strong rip currents while trying to help 2 children who had also been caught in the rip currents.
It appears that the children got out of the water safely and were not injured but the 60 year old man who had gone to their assistance struggled to get out of the surf but managed to reach the beach where EMS paramedics attended to him.
He was transported to hospital by EMS ambulance for observation for secondary drowning and later released from hospital.
On Thursday, 25th September, 13h39, NSRI Wilderness and Police responded to Victoria Bay, near George, where a man was reportedly in difficulty in a rip current. On arrival on-scene the local man, in his mid 30’s, was already out of the water and not injured and refused any assistance. It appears that the man may have been swept out to sea in rip currents but managed to reach rocks and was then able to negotiate his way to safety.
NSRI are urging the public to be aware of rip currents and parents are urged to educate their children on the dangers of rip currents.
Spring tide happens at New Moon and again at Full Moon every month, causing a higher than normal high tide and a lower than normal low tide and hence stronger than normal rip currents affecting the entire coastline. For more information on rip currents visit www.nsri.org.za
Caution is advised for bathers, anglers and paddlers over this coming weekend where the effects of the New Moon Spring Tide, which peaked on the 24th September, will still be felt.