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Drownings increase year on year<p>​</p><span><p>Last year, the United Nations declared 25 July as World Drowning Prevention Day and 2022 marks the second year that global awareness is being raised about the alarming statistics related to drowning, its leading causes, high risk areas and the need for urgent, co-ordinated action to reduce incidents.<br></p><p>'There have been 56 drownings at public beaches and swimming pools during the peak summer seasons in the City of Cape Town since 2019. There were 13 in 2019, nine in 2020, 15 in 2021 and 19 drownings so far in the current year. The number of fatal drownings is disheartening, given the many awareness drives and campaigns from the City to prevent these incidents,' said Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Patricia van der Ross.<br></p><p>According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) an estimated 236 000 people drown worldwide every year. <br></p><p>Drowning is among the 10 leading causes of death for children and youth aged 1-24 years; and more than 90% of drowning deaths occur in rivers, lakes, wells and domestic water storage vessels in low and middle-income countries. <br></p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img src="" class="responsive" alt="" style="width:800px;" /> </figure>​</span><span><p>The City has 12 permanent senior beach lifeguards who lead clusters of 600 seasonal lifeguards recruited to patrol beaches and municipal pools from October to April annually. <br></p><p>Over the past three years, 86% of total drownings were males, while 60% of all fatalities were youth between 13 – 35 years old.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">In the Western Cape, a larger portion of fatal drownings occur in the warmer seasons of spring and summer, with almost half of these fatalities taking place over weekends and public holidays. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The highest proportion of these incidents during the warmer time of the year take place in the afternoon at approximately 15:00.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Three main bodies of water account for the majority of fatal drownings in the Western Cape: harbours and tidal pools (27,1%), ponds, dams and lakes (25,9%) and rivers and canals (22,9%). <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Swimming pools are the fourth largest contributor to fatal drownings in the Western Cape, with 12,4% of the total. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The City has an extensive coastline of 307 kilometres, with the Recreation and Parks Department managing facilities and programmes along 260 kilometres, stretching from Silwerstroomstrand along the West Coast, to Kogel Bay on its eastern-most border of False Bay. The remaining approximate 47 kilometres fall under the management of the Table Mountain National Park. <br></p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img src="" class="responsive" alt="" style="width:949px;" /> </figure>​​</span><span style="text-align:justify;">Eight beaches are known as drowning hotspots where swimming is dangerous. These are:</span><ul><li>Table View</li><li>Milnerton Lagoon Beach</li><li>Sea Point</li><li>Between Clifton 1<sup>st</sup> and 3<sup>rd</sup> beach</li><li>Glen Beach</li><li>Strand Deep Blue and Jetty</li><li>Wolfgat Nature Reserve</li><li>Kogel Bay Dappat se Gat<br><br></li></ul><p style="text-align:justify;">Beachgoers are reminded to only swim where there are lifeguards and where signs indicate it is safe to do so. Don't swim if lifeguards are not present. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Always supervise children near water, dressing them in bright colours to make sure that lifeguards can see them in the water. Remember that the best form of supervision is to be engaged with young children in the water when at play, rather than watching from a distance, which leaves them at risk. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Always swim between the red and yellow flags set up by lifeguards at the beach. These indicate safe, supervised swimming areas. Areas outside these flags might conceal dangerous currents and tides.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Remember that alcohol is not permitted on City beaches or at public swimming pools. It results in slow physical reaction time should you find yourself in trouble in the water and reduces the impact of CPR. It also causes one to misjudge their swimming abilities, triggering many to take risks that they ordinarily would not take when sober.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The City implements a drowning prevention plan annually in partnership with the NSRI, Lifesaving South Africa, Lifesaving Cape Town, SAPS and City Law Enforcement to name a few. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">'Through joint efforts by staff, both seasonal and permanent, partners and key roleplayers in the drowning prevention sector, together with resource allocations and the required political support, the Department will continue to strive towards its vision of eliminating accidental drownings in Cape Town,' said Councillor van der Ross.<br></p><p><strong>End</strong></p><p><br></p>2022-07-24T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#3000e814-db15-4d80-8852-2077304275bd;L0|#03000e814-db15-4d80-8852-2077304275bd|lifeguards;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#bd01eb1e-7d40-47f8-913c-811c687e6ce1;L0|#0bd01eb1e-7d40-47f8-913c-811c687e6ce1|Beaches10

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