Two men drowned in separate incidents in Cape Town’s beaches on the Day of Goodwill, the City of Cape Town said on Wednesday.
“A father who jumped into the sea at Gordon’s Bay, drowned while attempting to rescue his son. They were fishing when the boy was swept off the rocks. In the second incident, an elderly gentleman drowned at Soetwater. He had gone into the water to take out his daily crayfish quota, he suffered a heart attack and drowned. In both cases attempts were made to resuscitate the victims, but to no avail,” said JP Smith, Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security.
“An estimated 45,000 people made their way to the city’s beaches and swimming pools. This is fewer than expected when compared to the same time last year and we suspect this was due to the wind.
“Although there has been a marked decrease in drownings and less people on the city’s beaches, enforcement agencies remain on high alert. Last festive season we had seven drownings between 1 December 2016 and 3 January 2017 [compared to 13 cases which were recorded over the same period the previous year].”
Smith said the city would remain vigilant with another peak weekend coming up. He said that drownings remained a concern and urged people to have fun safely and to swim where there are lifeguards.
He said the consumption of alcohol on the beaches and unattended minors required continued vigilance.
“Liquor confiscations on the city’s beaches were again at a record high, with revellers finding new and innovative ways to try and conceal their alcohol. This year more than 900 bottles of alcohol were confiscated on the Christmas weekend alone. This included 492 beers, 293 ciders, 62 bottles of spirits and 53 bottles of wine. This figure is likely to rise as we are still receiving confiscated alcohol.”
He said nearly 40 children went missing on beaches this weekend, but all were reunited with their families.
“Our Identikidz Programme has to be commended for ensuring that little ones who get lost are returned safely. The City’s social development and early childhood development directorate coordinates the programme, in which parents and caregivers can register their children when they arrive at participating beaches.”
An armband is issued to the child and includes the contact details of their parent or caregiver. Should the child be separated from their family, this then helps City staff or the police to reunite the child with their family.
“In the event that a child’s family is not tracked down by the end of the day, the child will be handed over to the Western Cape department of social development.”
– African News Agency (ANA)