The City of Cape Town’s Recreation and Parks Department kicked off its Summer Safety campaign with a festival at Strandfontein earlier today, 8 December 2018. The campaign aims to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all beachgoers, but visitors will also have their part to play. Read more below:
The City has deployed additional staff for the festive season, including more than 300 lifeguards who will be on duty at beaches and swimming pools; shark spotters at eight beaches; and specialised Law Enforcement and Fire and Rescue Service dive crews with watercraft to assist in the event of sea rescues.
The City is working closely with the National Sea Rescue Institute and other-role players to ensure the safety of beachgoers.
During the festive season the City will also conduct joint operations focusing on life-saving, law enforcement, first aid and beach cleaning to promote a safe, clean and enjoyable experience for all visitors and residents.
'The City boasts 10 Blue Flag beaches and it's not only these that attract thousands of daily local and international visitors during the peak season. Months of preparation go into making a day at the beach a relaxing time for everyone, but for that to happen visitors need to stick to the rules,' said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security; and Social Services, Alderman JP Smith.
At the heart of the Summer Safety campaign are four key messages that encourage beachgoers:
· not to drink and swim
· not to leave children unsupervised
· to be aware of rip currents
· to swim only between the flags where lifeguards are present
'The City services 47 beaches along its 307 km of coastline, along with 22 tidal pools and 14 resorts. Beach attendance can exceed 100 000 visitors per day during the peak summer season and, while our enforcement agencies will be out in full force to conduct patrols and check vehicles at various beach access points, it is not a job we can do alone.
'Statistics from the last festive season show that beach goers do not take their safety seriously. We had 11 drownings at sea, 41 rescues, 111 help-outs and also confiscated more than 11 000 bottles of alcohol despite the fact that it's not allowed at the beach,' explained Alderman Smith.
The City's Social Development and Early Childhood Development Department will support the promotion of child safety through the Identikidz project. All children arriving at the beaches will be registered and issued with an identification tag/armband. In the event that the child is separated from their caregiver/parent, staff will work with other role-players to ensure the reunification of lost children.
The beach programme includes litter picking on all the beaches, and the City’s Solid Waste Management Department is geared to implement extra top-up cleansing services during the high season.
These services focus on main business areas, scenic routes and beaches throughout the metro. Approximately R27,5 million has been set aside for this and it is foreseen that 1 888 temporary positions will be created to cater for the seasonal demand, including over weekends and on public holidays.
'A visit to the beach should be a day of bliss and fun in the sun and the City definitely doesn't want any incidents to mar holiday memories. We'll be doing our part to make sure visitors take only fond souvenirs and impressions with them,' said Alderman Smith.
The City's 24-hour Public Emergency Communication Centre (PECC) will be adequatrlyely staffed to ensure that all incidents received are logged and dispatched to the relevant service providers. Depending on the situation or event, additional staff will be brought in to cover the influx of calls.
For any emergency, call 021 480 7700 from a cellphone or 107 from a landline.
The above was supplied by the CoCT Media Office.