Safety first as beaches packed for holidays

Camps Bay beach had thousands of visitors on a daily basis.

More than 6 000 children were tagged with armbands at Camps Bay beach by the City of Cape Town’s Identikidz project during the festive season.

The project sees children being tagged with an armband that contains the contact details of their guardians.

At the time of going to print, 6 282 children were tagged at Camps Bay beach and 18 reunited with their families.

Another 961 children were tagged at Maiden’s Cove.

“Over the New Year’s weekend, 257 children were tagged at Maiden’s Cove, and 1 181 at Camps Bay. Five children were successfully reunited with their families at Camps Bay,” said mayoral committee member for community services and health, Patricia Van der Ross.

She said over the weekend that started on Friday January 7, 1 687 children were tagged and 21 were reunited with their parents.

“There are still some busy, hot days ahead and I want to encourage parents to ensure they have their children tagged at the participating beaches. It’s a simple, quick process and will save everyone from the worry and trauma,” said Ms Van der Ross.

Camps Bay police station commander, Captain Keith Chandler, said while New Year’s Eve was relatively quiet, the area was extremely busy most days during the holiday season.

“Hundreds of bottles of alcohol have been confiscated by SAPS and Law Enforcement. Theft cases have increased dramatically; many people bring lap tops and expensive items to the beach and then leave them unattended,” said Captain Chandler.

With Cape Town schools set to reopen next week, Captain Chandler had this warning for beach goers: “We urge visitors to be vigilant, to leave alcohol and valuables at home and to listen to the life guards and Law Enforcement/ SAPS members in uniform.”

He said there were four near fatalities and that three people had drowned.

The NSRI confirmed that a 36-year-old man drowned after he went missing in the water on Tuesday December 21 and the police diving unit launched a search operation. On Saturday December 25, a 10-year-old boy drowned at the Camps Bay tidal pool.

On Saturday January 1, the NSRI recorded a fatality at a tidal pool alongside the Sea Point promenade. They were alerted at 9.40am to the incident.

“A German couple spotted a man in the water and alerted the authorities. However, the man, believed to be in his 50s, was declared deceased after the NSRI rescue swimmers recovered him from the water,” said Marc de Vos, NSRI Table Bay station commander.

A child getting a tag on the beach incase she is seperated from her guardians.