SEA RESCUE – National – Wednesday, 04 January. NSRI Safety:
Between the 1st of December, 2016 and the 2nd of January, 2017, NSRI responded to 132 operations in which 193 persons were rescued.
In 38 of these operations we responded to boats and ships calling for assistance and we evacuated 3 patients for medical reasons from ships. 10 animals were also assisted.
37 fatal drownings (23 adults and 14 children) were attended to around the coast and on inland waters.
While the majority of the drownings are attributable to drownings in the sea suspected to be caused by coastal rip-currents some were from suspected medical causes and others from fatal drownings in lagoons, swimming pools, rivers, lakes and dams or from accidents around water.
NSRI are committed to drowning prevention.
Our media safety campaign, our WaterWise program which has reached almost a million children around the country and which has also seen the Western Cape Department of Education adopting this program into the school curriculum, the introduction of pool noodles to some beaches in a pilot project, and in an intense collaboration with other services – the SA Police Services, SA Lifesaving, Provincial Government Health EMS, Private ambulance services, Municipalities and their Municipal lifeguards and Municipal Law Enforcement agencies, Fire Departments, Traffic Departments, local lifesaving agencies, SA National Parks, Community Services and National and Regional Emergency Call Centres.
NSRI urge bathers to only visit beaches where and when lifeguards are on duty. On our website at www.nsri.org.za we regularly post advice on rip currents, Spring Tides, water safety advice and we encourage paddlers and boaters to download the RSA Safetrx free app to their cellphones and to carry safety equipment.
We encourage the public not to drink alcohol around water and we urge parents to make sure that children have responsible adult supervision around water (coastal and inland waters) and that your swimming pool at home has a cloak of safety around it.
As we approach the Full Moon Spring Tide, which peaks on the 12th of January, we will again be warnings of the increase in risks to coastal bathers and anglers from stronger rip currents from the 8th of January onwards.