As Durban prepares to wind down the 2017/18 festive season, many locals and visitors are still visiting the beaches to enjoy the last days of relaxation before going back to their normal lives.
 
During the first weekend of 2018 (05 – 07 January 2018) an estimate of 462 480 people visited various beaches around the City. Approximately 98 rescues were carried out and 7926 people received first aid, mostly for blue bottle stings.
 
More than 91 205 children were issued with armbands. Approximately 286 children were separated from their guardians but subsequently re-united. An 11 year old boy from Vryheid spent two nights at the overnight facility when the taxi he was travelling in left without him on its return to home. He has since been successfully re-united with his family.
 
Drownings reported are as follows; On Sunday, 31 December 2017, a drowning occurred at uMkhomazi River where an adult got on a home-made floating device which subsequently sank. A three-year old was rescued during the incident. On Saturday, 06 January 2018, a man drowned at La Mercy Lagoon during high tide when he attempted to cross the river mouth.
 
With just a few days left until end of the festive season, the Acting Chairperson of the Festive Season management Committee (FESMAC), Malcolm Canham, has assured members of the public that all operational plans will remain in place for the duration of the festive period.
 
"Law Enforcement Officers will be out in full force to ensure that patrons are able to enjoy themselves in a safe and responsible way. Our lifeguards, beach buddies and child-minders will also remain at the beachfront to give assistance where required,” said Canham, adding that additional staff brought in to assist during the festive season will stand down on Monday, 18 January 2018.
 
Ends
Issued by eThekwini Municipality’s Deputy Head of Communications, Mandla Nsele.