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Wed Jul 27 13:40:34 SAST 2016

NSRI warns of stronger than normal rip currents over Easter weekend

TMG Digital | 24 March, 2016 12:49

Image by: YouTube

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) on Thursday warned that the full moon spring tide‚ which peaked this week‚ “will cause stronger than normal rip currents around the coast”.

“We can expect bigger waves this Easter weekend which‚ when combined with the spring tide‚ will make the rip currents more dangerous than usual‚” the NSRI said in a statement.

“Boaters and paddlers are advised to exercise extreme caution.”

“Stronger than normal rip currents” occur in the run-up to and after the twice-monthly - at full and new moon - spring tides‚ the NSRI explained.

Rip currents are caused when water reaching the shoreline “needs to find a way to retreat” and can be best explained as “a river of water retreating through the incoming swells back out into the sea”‚ the NSRI elaborated.

This six-minute video from the NSRI explains how rip currents occur


The NSRI advised:

- Bathers caught in a rip current not to panic‚ simply stay afloat and let the current sweep you out to sea and at your first opportunity swim parallel to the beach until you are free of the rip current and then use the incoming waves to get back to shore;

- Swim at beaches where lifeguards are on duty and obey the instructions of the lifeguards. Only swim within the safe swimming zones between their red and yellow flags;

- Anglers fishing along the shoreline‚ particularly along rocks on the shoreline‚ are at greatest risk during the spring tide where incoming waves during the high tides engulf higher than normal over rocks;

- Anglers should not turn their back to the sea and should be vigilant and cautious of the wave action at all times while fishing; and

- Boaters‚ paddlers‚ sail boarders and anyone launching any kind of craft onto water should wear their life-jackets at all times while on water and carry easily accessible safety equipment.

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