Three drown as thousands flock to Cape beaches over the weekend

Thousands of residents and visitors flocked to Cape Town’s beaches and pools this past weekend, as temperatures in the Mother City were sweltering.

The fun in the sun however did not come without incidents.

Three lives to fatal drownings were lost on Saturday, while 134 lives were saved.

Mayco member for community services and health, Patricia van der Ross said 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.

A 46-year-old man from Ocean View drowned at Glencairn Beach.

According to the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), a trainee crew member, who lives across the road from the beach and was at the beach at the time, had launched into the water with an NSRI pink rescue buoy, stationed at that beach, after being alerted to a commotion where bystanders were pointing towards a man being swept out to sea in rip currents.

Then Western Cape police have opened an inquest docket after a lifeless body of a man washed onto the far East section of the beach at Monwabisi on Saturday afternoon.

‘’City of Cape Town lifeguards, on duty at Monwabisi Main Beach, were alerted by eye-witnesses, and lifeguards performed CPR on the 37-year-old man from Mfuleni. Following extensive CPR efforts the man was declared deceased,’’ said NSRI in a statement.

In a separate incident, a 60-year-old has died in Strand.

NSRI said a Gordons Bay coxswain, who lives in a block of apartments in Strand, was alerted by the caretaker who had noticed the lifeless body of a man floating in the apartment block swimming pool, on Saturday morning.

‘’The NSRI member rescued the man from the swimming pool and initiated CPR efforts. After all efforts to resuscitate the man were exhausted sadly he was declared deceased,.’’

NSRI suspects that the man may have suffered a medical condition while swimming in the pool. Police have opened an inquest docket for investigation.

 In addition, a total of 127 help-outs were recorded by City lifeguards on duty. 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 that additional first aid cases, including dislocations, seizures, facial injuries and minor cuts and bruises, were also attended to by lifeguards.

‘’I am proud of the massive effort put in by all our services over the weekend and I especially want to celebrate the commitment of our lifeguards. Saturday was one of the busiest beach days in the last few years and our staff have certainly stepped up.’’


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


PICTURE: @thehumansnarrative

Done By: Mitchum George


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