Three people drowned as thousands of residents and visitors flocked to the Cape Town beaches and pools to escape the heat this past weekend.

DROWNINGS TOOK PLACE OUTSIDE DESIGNATED BATHING AREAS

The fatal drownings took place outside of designated bathing areas at unguarded beaches or beyond the hours when lifeguards were on duty, at Clovelly, Monwabisi East and Strand.

‘We lost three lives to fatal drownings on Saturday, while 134 lives were saved because of their efforts. Their hard work and dedication to serving the public under challenging circumstances should be commended,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Patricia van der Ross.

She said in addition, a total of 127 help-outs were recorded by City lifeguards on duty. 

A TOTAL OF 134 LIVES WERE SAVED

“These are rescues where a potential drowning was avoided and are in addition to the countless preventative actions taken by the lifeguards prior to a rescue being required, but also the additional rescues performed by voluntary lifeguards on duty at the 15 lifesaving clubs around the coast.

“Further to these help-outs, a total of six non-fatal drownings that resulted in successful rescues by City lifeguards were recorded,” Van der Ross said. 

The City’s Social Development and Early Childhood Development Department tagged 21 507 children and reunited 155 with their parents or caregivers over the weekend.

“Unfortunately, six children (four at Camps Bay on 8 January and two at Muizenberg on 9 January) had to be handed over to the Provincial Department of Social Development as they could not be reunited with their parents or caregivers by nightfall. The six children were not tagged,d and caregivers/parents are encouraged to make use of the Identikidz programme,” she said. 

Van der Ross said Identikidz staff have tagged 98 232 children in total so far and reunited 338 with their families. 

A TOTAL OF 338 MISSING CHILDREN REUNITED WITH THEIR FAMILIES

“I want to encourage parents to ensure they have their children tagged at the participating beaches. It’s a simple, quick process and will save everyone from the worry and trauma,” she added.

ALSO READ: Man drowns in tidal pool at Sea Point Promenade on New Year’s Day

Identikidz will continue to run on the following days:

· 15 and 16 January 2022

Visitors to the beaches are reminded to obey the four golden rules:

  • Do not drink and swim
  • Do not leave children unsupervised
  • Be aware of rip currents
  • Swim only between the red and yellow flags, where lifeguards are present

ALSO READ: A 10-year-old girl drowns at Strand Beach, Western Cape [Video]

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