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City lifeguards help hundreds to safety<p>The City has recorded a staggering 39 non-fatal drownings this season, with 14 of these occurring this past weekend. </p><p>‘These were successful rescues where patients would otherwise have lost their lives if not for the interventions of first responders and emergency services. A mammoth 184 help-outs were performed by City lifeguards just this weekend, in addition to the countless preventative actions taken by them prior to a rescue being required. Additional rescues were also performed by voluntary lifeguards from the 15 lifesaving clubs in Cape Town and the NSRI members from their base and satellite stations on duty around the coast. We thank these brave souls for putting their lives on the line to help others, amid some very challenging conditions and packed beaches.</p><p>‘Unfortunately, two fatal drownings occurred on Sunday, 23 January 2022 - one at Strand Beach and the other at Sonwabe Beach. In both cases, the patients were adult males who lost their lives. The City conveys its deepest sympathies to the families of the deceased,’ said the Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health,’ Councillor Patricia Van der Ross.  </p><p>The City recorded 15 fatal drownings between September 2021 and 23 January 2022 with 39 lives that  were saved and recorded as non-fatal drownings over the same period. </p><p>In most of these cases, the victims had been swimming outside of designated bathing areas, on unguarded beaches or outside of lifeguard hours. </p><p>The City remains positive that all services working towards the common goal of drowning prevention will do their utmost to ensure these numbers do not increase any further. </p><p>Success is largely dependent on the responsible and informed decisions made by the public visiting beaches and swimming pools, and the collaborative efforts of all services attending to their safety. </p><p>There is ongoing public communication and awareness about how to avoid the risk of accidental drowning. The most common causes for drownings are:</p><p><strong>Swimming in isolated areas where lifeguards are not present and where the likelihood for rip currents to occur is high. </strong></p><p>Rip currents are deceptively dark and calm-looking patches of the ocean which, when viewed from a distance, appear to have no waves, but are powerful channels of fast-moving water. Swimmers caught in rip currents instinctively try to swim back to shore against the current, but in most cases, the current is too strong (even for well-seasoned/ professional swimmers) and the risk of drowning quickly escalates as the swimmer becomes fatigued. The only way to avoid rip currents is to swim between the lifeguards’ red and yellow flags designating the safest bathing area. </p><p><strong>Drinking alcohol and swimming under the influence. </strong></p><p>Alcohol is not allowed at beaches and municipal swimming pools and the City places signage and educational posters at key locations to advise on the dangers of ignoring these rules. Alcohol can make you misjudge your own swimming abilities, slow down the body and physical reactions whilst swimming or even reduce the effectiveness of CPR.</p><p><strong>Leaving children unsupervised near water. </strong></p><p>Children under the age of 15 are statistically at greater risk of drowning than any other age group of individuals. It is critical that parents and caregivers actively supervise children around water, and ensure that minors do not venture out of sight when in their care. </p><p>‘ Swim safety should be everyone’s responsibility and if the public play an active role in their personal safety and all services play their part, it is possible to achieve the City’s drowning prevention vision, added Councillor van der Ross.</p><p>More information about the lifeguarded beaches and tidal pools can be accessed on <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Departments/Recreation%20and%20Parks%20Department">https://www.capetown.gov.za/Departments/Recreation%20and%20Parks%20Department</a></p><p><strong>End</strong><br></p>2022-01-24T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#6c33e5b8-ac29-4fdf-b61f-1e346bf5768b;L0|#06c33e5b8-ac29-4fdf-b61f-1e346bf5768b|Community service;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GPP|#1bcaacbe-19a4-4b34-8092-38e17f8e40ab;GP0|#5fb0fd45-1240-41c9-aaeb-627cbd4a11ab;L0|#05fb0fd45-1240-41c9-aaeb-627cbd4a11ab|Health;GP0|#3000e814-db15-4d80-8852-2077304275bd;L0|#03000e814-db15-4d80-8852-2077304275bd|lifeguards10

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