Six ways to stay safe on SA’s beaches this festive season

Six ways to stay safe on SA’s beaches this festive season

Avoid being a victim and stay safe on the beaches this festive season.

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Thousands of people in South Africa will be heading to the ocean to unwind, to have some fun, and to make beautiful memories, but it is important to stay safe, as the dangers of the beach are no joke.

Lives are lost at beaches every year due to a number of reasons, some of which could have been avoided.

Before you head to the beach, familiarise yourself with the different beach flags and what they mean. 

- Red flags indicate strong surf and currents or can sometimes mean the beach is closed.

- Yellow flags indicate moderate surf and currents, so you have to be cautious.

- Blue or purple flags mean that potentially dangerous marine life such as sharks or jellyfish have been spotted and therefore you need to be careful. 

- Green flags mean the ocean is calm or clear.

Memorise the colours and ensure that you adhere to instructions.

Here are six other tips to ensure you stay safe on the beach:

Don't leave your valuable possessions lying around

Crime is a problem in South Africa. It is vital that you are alert at all times and make sure your possessions are not neglected. You don't want to find yourself becoming a victim of crime while you are supposed to be enjoying yourself. 

Keep an eye on your kids

Kids love to run around and wander away. It's easy to lose track of them if you aren't paying attention. Keep your eyes on them all the time and also tell them to let you know if they want to go to a different spot on the beach. It's also important that you tell your children not to speak to strangers or accept gifts from strangers, unless you are present. 

Don't allow help from strangers

It can be very tempting to trust someone because they don't look dangerous, but just because someone looks innocent doesn't mean they are harmless. If you need help, speak to lifeguards. 

Don't learn to swim without a lifeguard nearby

If you don't know how to swim and want to learn, do so if you can spot a lifeguard nearby. Hundreds of lives are lost every year due to people drowning. Eye Witness News reports that drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death in South Africa after road accidents. So don't take it for granted that you are safe and you won't drown. Rather be safe than sorry. 

Be alert and stay in safe spots

You can never be too cautious. Be vigilant and stay in places that are safe and you can spot lifeguards close-by. If there's a change in the weather, and lightning starts to hit, get yourself away from the water. 

Do not swim while drunk

This is an obvious one. Don't be silly, people. 

Also read: Local holiday destinations that will help you avoid the crowds

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