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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

NSRI warns of potentially dangerous effects of full moon Spring tide

The peak of the full moon Spring high tide is of grave concern for bathers around the South African Coast.

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) has warned of the potentially dangerous effects of the full moon spring tide over the next few days in KwaZulu-Natal.

NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon issued an urgent safety alert on Sunday.

Lambinon said the peak of the full moon Spring high tide is of grave concern for coastal bathers around the South African Coast.

“NSRI, lifeguards the emergency services, police and municipal beach authorities are urgently appealing to bathers to be cautious of expected strong rip currents to prevail, especially during the late afternoon, today Sunday, and for the next few days. This is an urgent safety alert.”


In September, a strong spring tide wreaked havoc in coastal communities in the Eastern and Western Cape.

“A 93-year-old woman was killed during the spring high tide that battered restaurants, houses and cars.”

Lambinon, at the time, said businesses affected by the spring high tide included The Brass Bell restaurant in Kalk Bay, as well as extensive damage in George, and Wilderness along the Southern Cape coastline.

“There has been quite widespread damage across the coastline, including sand dune erosion, structural damage, and we’ve learnt that NSRI Wilderness and paramedics were at a scene in Leentjiesklip, George, yesterday (Saturday) afternoon where a 93-year-old female had sadly passed away.”

ALSO READ: Elderly woman killed after wave crashes into car park with another surge expected

What is a spring tide?

According to the South African Weather Service (Saws), spring tides are termed that because of its force when there is the greatest difference between high and low water.

“It’s scientific forces, where the sun and the moon attract each other, especially after a full moon. Then that force happens and it increases the number of waves around the coastal area.

“When that happens in conjunction with the high tides along the south coast of the Western Cape, the west coast of the Western Cape, as well as the coastal areas of the Eastern Cape, that increases the amplitude of the waves as they are higher than normal,” Saws said.

ALSO READ: Spring tides wreak havoc in coastal communities of Eastern and Western Cape

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