Here are a few tips from Sea Rescue’s educational arm, the WaterWise Academy, to keep children safe :
Do not let your children out of your sight for one second when they are playing in the water, or swimming.
Contrary to popular belief children do not thrash around and shout for help when they are drowning. They may be able to wave and shout for help when in distress, but drowning is completely silent.
Children should never swim alone.
Never dive into water – make sure you know the depth and rather jump feet first.
When planning a trip to the sea choose a beach that has life savers on duty and swim only between their flags.
If you are caught in a rip current and feel yourself being pulled out to sea do not panic.
The current will slow down as it gets further out. Simply swim parallel to the beach and then use the waves on either side of the rip to help you get back in to the beach.
If you are tired, float on your back and wave for help.
Never turn your back on the sea.
Whenever setting out on a boat always put a lifejacket on your children before you launch.
Make sure that you, as the responsible adult in the boat, have a cell phone with fully charged batteries in a waterproof pouch, a cd or mirror to signal with and a referees whistle. These should be attached to your lifejacket and not in a cupboard or locker.
Make sure to check your safety equipment and practice using it before you need to.
Alcohol and water do not mix.
Take the time to put emergency telephone numbers into your cell phone before your holiday. In a real emergency it is very difficult to stay calm and remember what number to use.
Make sure that you have the ambulance telephone number 10177 and your local Sea Rescue number ( see www.searescue.org.za ) before you need them.
The cell phone emergency number 112 is a good number to use for any emergency.