The festive season is in full swing and more holidaymakers are expected to flock to South Africa’s beautiful coastal areas including Jeffreys Bay, home of golden beaches and Supertubes, internationally revered as the being one best wave in the world.
Coastal holidays are not without danger as water depths can change rapidly along the coastline and waves and rip currents can be very strong and unpredictable.
Before entering the sea, swimmers should take time to watch the waves and must avoid places where there is a strong backwash, obvious rip currents or a danger of being washed onto the rocks.
Check the weather and the tides before you leave home – if the sea is too rough, you could be swept away.
Never swim while you are intoxicated.
Alcohol impairs judgement and unnecessary risks are taken, increasing the chance of an accident or drowning.
Check with the lifeguards on duty what the surf conditions are before entering the sea.
Only swim in designated areas that are supervised by lifeguards.
Pellsrus, Main Beach, Kabeljous, Aston Bay, Paradise Beach, Cape St Francis and Oyster Bay are all being patrolled by lifeguards over the holiday season.
If the lifeguards give you directions or instructions from the beach, obey them.
Do not swim in river mouths, in dirty water, or after it has rained, as shark activity increases in these conditions.
Also do not swim when bluebottles are present as they are poisonous. Seek help from the lifeguards immediately after being stung.