Locals taught of water hazards

With Summer on the horizon and Capetonians expected to hit the sea waters to cool off their bodies, the Monwabisi Life-Saving Club is throwing caution to the wind.

On Saturday, the club held a learn to swim programme for the community of Khayelitsha and surrounding areas to avert possible drownings. The club also taught residents crucial water safety tips.

Monwabisi beach is popular with locals but notorious for drownings.

The beach has a dangerous rip current that even seasoned swimmers battle to deal with. Scores of people have drowned in the beach in recent times.

However, the club is now out to ensure that residents will be safe this Summer.

The National Sea Rescue Institute and Law Enforcement joined the event.

Sicelo Ndwebi, club public relations officer, said they hoped to hold the event annually.

“We are going to be busy from now on because when it is hot, people come to the beach to swim even though they can’t swim,” said Ndwebi.

He said their training focussed on water safety and action to take during a drowning.

With a new informal settlement established closer to the beach, Ndwebi said they expected an increase in the number of beachgoers this season.

MEC for Cultural Affairs and Sport Anroux Marais said drowning was prevalent in Cape Town, and such events were important.

Marais said people needed to be taught about water safety because they were not water conscious.

She thanked everyone involved, and promised to help the life savers at Monwabisi beach.

Resident Nomacebiso Manxiwa, who brought her children to the event, said it was important to prevent deaths.

She called on children at the event to liaise and teach their peers all the tips they have learned during the event.

“Children now know that they must not come to the beach with drunk people because they will not be able to look after them,” she said.