City of Cape Town rescue divers are hard at work to reduce the number of drownings at Cape Flats beaches this festive season and are calling on beachgoers to be on their best behaviour.
Speaking during a ride-along with the Fire and Rescue Services Diving Unit on Monday, Mayco Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith, said since 1 December five drownings have been recorded at beaches across the City.
The team, consisting of 20 skilled divers and firefighters who are also trained as paramedics, will be patrolling the coastline to assist other services such as the NSRI.
Smith says: “At the moment there are five drownings directly related to the beaches and that is five too many. By the end of the season, we don’t want to see that figure creep over 10.
“Ideally it should be zero, but unfortunately we cannot control what people will do.
“Our message to the people is to please stay where the lifeguards can see you and stay between the flags so there is someone watching you.”
On Saturday morning a 17-year-old girl from the Eastern Cape drowned at Blouberg Beach after she and her two male cousins got into difficulty.
SAFETY AIM: City’s JP Smith
NSRI Melkbosstrand station commander, Peter O’Hanlan, says one boy managed to get to shore where a guest house owner raised the alarm.
He says the girl’s body was recovered and she was declared dead after extensive CPR efforts to save her failed.
“Despite an extensive search no sign of the boy, 15, has been found and he is missing.”