The stretch from Leentjies Klip to the outlet of the lagoon, Wilderness Main Beach and beyond is notoriously dangerous for swimming, and with the beaches opening again, there has been an influx of visitors, both local and foreign, to these beaches.
The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) has always prioritized the safety of beach lovers go to these beaches but this can be challenging without enough funds to pay life-guards.Hence,they are raising funds to make sure that the beaches of Wilderness, Western Cape, have lifeguards present during the busy weekends and holidays.
NSRI prevents drowning through rescue operations, education and prevention initiatives. The life guard initiative will see that lifeguards stationed on beaches over weekends and public holidays for a 10-week period, from 27th February – 2nd May 2021. The reason for the initiative is that there have been several drownings in the area.The NSRI has also deployed several Pink Rescue Buoys along the Wilderness Beach, but more needs to be done to save lives.
“Lifeguards will use Sea Rescue’s custom designed All-Terrain Vehicle to patrol the beach and educate the public. When someone is drowning, every second counts. Having lifeguards on this stretch will undoubtedly reduce response times, and effectively save lives. Signage will also be used to warn people of rip currents at as these develop at different locations throughout the day and to point to safe swimming areas. The community has raised concerns regarding the lack of lifeguards on the beach, and we share their concerns,”said Garth Dominy, Station 23 Wilderness Station Commander.
The Charity organization has asked communities in the Wilderness to come together to sponsor a lifeguard project. Lifeguards in the area are donating a third of their time to make sure the shifts are covered while the wait for funding.They will be focusing on prevention, anticipating dangers and educating visitors to the dangers that they may face at the water, thus reducing the need for rescue.
“The project has benefits for the recipients of our service – the people we educate through beach safety awareness and education, the rescues performed and whose futures we give back when they thought it had gone,” explained Dominy.
George Municipality is fully supportive of the community sponsored lifeguard project to have lifesavers on the Wilderness beach. “This is a positive step to attract visitors, promote tourism and ensure the safety of beachgoer”, added Dr Gratz, Acting Municipal Manager.
For more information or to make a donation, please contact Wilderness NSRI Station 23 on 082 990 5955 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.