There was yet another sewage spill on Main Beach yesterday afternoon and this time there was no doubt that the seepage entered the ocean at the Kitchen Window surf break.
Young Ryan Lightfoot has just paddled out when the stench of raw sewage hit him, forcing him to return to the beach. ‘I felt like getting sick the smell was so bad”, said Ryan. “I will have to wash my wetsuit because is also smells like pooh now”.
Ryan’s older brother is well known competitive surfer Dylan Lightfoot who was on the beach watching his brother in his surf lesson. “I walked up the beach and saw raw sewage coming out the pipe next to the ski boat Club’, said Dylan. “You could even see the toilet paper amongst the sewage in the dam that had formed on the beach. The sewage was definitely going into the sea”.
This ongoing problem at Main Beach simply has to be sorted out. It is going to affect tourism in the town as many of the surfers who frequent the Kitchen Window surf break are foreign visitors to our town.
It is also the beach where the next generation of surf groms learn to ply their trade. “I learnt to surf at this beach and now it is a sewage dam”, added Dylan Lighfoot. “Where are the kids like my brother and his friends going to learn to surf if they cannot use Main Beach? ”
“I have just come back from surfing contests in Durban, East London and Victoria Bay and nowhere does one find sewage on the beach like we do in J’Bay. And we actually have the best beaches and waves in South Africa but this sewage has to stop. ”
The time is probably long overdue for Jeffreys Bay to adopt the same approach as the organisation Surfers against Sewage do. Every time they spot a sewage spill on the beaches they monitor in England, a brown flag is raised on the beach.
These regular sewage spills make a mockery of the Blue Flag status the Main Beach enjoys. We owe it the kids of our town and the visitors to sort this problem out. Even more, we owe it to ourselves. This is our beach.