WATCH: Dramatic Cape beach photo-frolic gone wrong highlights beach safety

2018-01-05 10:54 - Unathi Nkanjeni
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Cape Town - A dramatic photo opportunity went horribly wrong when a husband and wife were knocked over unexpectedly by wild waves in Hermanus.

The incidents took place on Wednesday, 03 January, in which the South Africa couple, who now live in the UK and were in Cape Town on holiday, were washed off the rocks. 

According to National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), the NSRI Hermanus duty crew and the Western Cape Government Health EMS responded to the Kwaaiwater incident at 13:55 earlier this week. The unidentified couple had to be treated for a fractured ankle, cuts and bruises before being transported to a hospital by EMS ambulance in a stable condition.  

They have since shared their experience, in order to raise beach-safety awareness.  

Watch video below:

Pictures: NSRI

Beach safety

In South Africa, 600 children die each year from drowning according to NSRI. NSRI conducted a report of the 2016 fatalities and concluded over 2 000 fatal drownings.

This sombre reminder is coming at the right time for South Africans as January is still a beach season. Remember to drink responsibly - avoid the water if you have had too many drinks.

With many public pools being closed in the Western Cape and Eastern Cape following the drought, beaches are expected to be even busy as visitors seek a cool escape during the hot period. It is therefore advised to practice even greater caution while enjoying SA's coastal region.

SEE: Beach safety 101: Plett shark attack a 'freak incident' - NSRI

Beachgoers are also advised to swim as close as possible to lifeguards who are on alert to close beaches if necessary.

Familiarise yourself with the colour-coded flag system:

A red flag - The most serious of all beach warning flags, red flags warn swimmers of serious hazards in the water. One red flag means that the surf is high or there are dangerous currents, or both. Though you can still swim if there is a red flag, you should use extreme caution and go in the water only if you're a strong swimmer.

A green flag means that the spotting conditions are good and no sharks have been seen. 

A black flag means that the spotting conditions are poor, but no sharks have been seen. 

A white flag with a black shark diagram means that a shark is currently near the beach, and beach users must get out of the water. A siren is sounded and the white flag is raised. 

ALSO SEE: Safe surfing with new Shark Spotters app!

To make summer shark safety even easier, Shark Spotters has also released and app that provides current and accurate shark safety information on smartphones. 

Save these emergency numbers on your cell phone:

  • South African Police Service and National Emergency Response 
    Phone: 10111
    Phone from cell phone: 112 (automated response)

  • Ambulance Services
    Emergency - Ambulance Phone 10177
    Emergency - From Cell phone 112 (automated response)

  • Netcare
    Phone 021 981 9890
    Missing Children Emergency 
    Phone 072 647 7464

  • National Sea Rescue Institute 
    NSRI Cape Town - Phone 021 449-3500
    NSRI Saldhana - Phone 022 714-1726
    NSRI Mossel Bay - Phone 044 604-6271
    NSRI Port Elizabeth - Phone 041 507-1911
    NSRI East London - Phone 043 700-2100
    NSRI Durban - Phone 031 361-8567
    NSRI Richard's Bay - Phone 035 753-1991

  • NSRI Inland Dams and Lakes 
    Vaal Dam – Dick Manten – 083 626 5128
    Hartbeespoort Dam – Rod Pitter – 082 990 5961
    Victoria Lake – Graham Hartlett – 082 441 6989
    Witbank Dam – Dean Wegerle – 060 962 2620

  • SANParks - Table Mountain National Park
    In case of emergencies - Phone 021 957 4700
  • SANParks - Kruger National Park 
    In case of emergencies - Phone 013 735 4325
  • SANParks general call centre 
    Phone 012 428 9111
  • Airports emergency numbers: 
    Bloemfontein International  - Phone 051 433 2901
    Cape Town International - Phone 021 935 9745
    Durban International  - Phone 031 408 1990
    Polokwane International - Phone 015 288 0083
    OR Tambo International - Phone 011 941 6200
    Lanseria International - Phone 011 659 1229
    Kruger Mpumalanga International - Phone 013 750 2937 
    Pilanesberg Airport - Phone 014 552 2320
    Port Elizabeth Airport - Phone 041 404 8323 or 082 809 5237/38
    Upington Airport - Phone 054 332 3117/8 or 076 987 3944 
  • Mediclinic Emergency Centres across South Africa:
  • Mediclinic Barberton - 013 712 4279
  • Mediclinic Bloemfontein - 051 404 6225
    Mediclinic Brits - 012 252 8028
    Mediclinic Cape Gate  - 021 9835911
    Mediclinic Cape Town  - 021 464 5555
    Mediclinic Constantiaberg  - 021 799 2196
    Mediclinic Durbanville  -  021 980 2126
    Mediclinic Emfuleni -  016 950 8111
    Mediclinic Ermelo  -  017 801 2600
    Mediclinic Geneva and George - 044 874 6777
    Mediclinic Heart Hospital - 012 440 0315
    Mediclinic Hermanus -  028 313 0168
    Mediclinic Highveld  -  017 638 8111
    Mediclinic Hoogland  - 058 307 2424
    Mediclinic Howick -  033 330 2456
    Mediclinic Kimberley  - 053 838 0573
    Mediclinic Klein Karoo  - 044 272 0111
    Mediclinic Kloof  - 012 367 4076
    Mediclinic Legae - 012 797 8021
    Mediclinic Lephalale - 014 763 0408
    Mediclinic Limpopo - 015 290 3747
    Mediclinic Louis Leipoldt - 021 949 3681
    Mediclinic Medforum - 012 317 6803
    Mediclinic Midstream - 012 6529102
    Mediclinic Milnerton - 021 529 9309
    Mediclinic Morningside  - 011 282 5126/5127
    Mediclinic Muelmed - 012 440 0692
    Mediclinic Nelspruit - 013 759 0645
    Mediclinic Newcastle - 034 317 0111
    Mediclinic Paarl  - 021 807 8012
    Mediclinic Panorama  - 021 930 4180
    Mediclinic Pietermaritzburg -  033 845 3911
    Mediclinic Plettenberg Bay - 044 501 5100
    Mediclinic Potchefstroom - 018 293 7003
    Mediclinic Sandton - 011 706 7710 / 11
    Mediclinic Secunda - 084 124
    Mediclinic Stellenbosch - 021 861 2094
    Mediclinic Thabazimbi  - 084 124
    Mediclinic Tzaneen - 015 306 8526
    Mediclinic Upington -  054 338 8900
    Mediclinic Vereeniging - 016 440 5440
    Mediclinic Vergelegen - 021 850 9087 /
    Mediclinic Victoria  - 032 944 5061 / 2 / 3 / 4
    Mediclinic Welkom -  057 916 5001
    Mediclinic Worcester  - 023 348 1724

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