The beaches of Plett is certainly one of Plettenberg Bay’s biggest attractions and, while the sheltered bay offers an array of watersports and in summer the beaches of Plett are packed with holiday-makers – the ocean is still a powerful element and rip currents can be found all along the Garden Route Coast.
We’ve put together a little safety information for you, starting with some emergency numbers – always have these in your phone when headed to the beach.
Plett National Sea Rescue: 044 533 2744 │082 990 5975
National Emergency Number: 10177
Watch this very informative video by Wilderness Sea Rescue on recognising rip currents and what to do if you get caught in a rip current. Or keep reading below.
How to recognise a rip current
Deeper darker water.
Fewer breaking waves.
Sometimes sandy coloured water extending beyond the surf zone.
Debris or seaweed.
Sometimes it’s easier to look for where the waves are breaking consistently, and then look to each side where they don’t break consistently. That’s the rip current!
(Source: Beach Safe.org.au)
What to do if you are caught in a rip current
Bathers caught in a rip current should not panic. Simply stay afloat by treading water (moving your arms and legs in circular movements), don’t try to swim against the current as it will only cause you exhaustion and let the current sweep you out to sea but at your first opportunity swim parallel to the beach front until you are free of the rip current and then use the incoming waves to get back to shore.
While this is happening scream for help and wave your arm to alert people on the beach to raise the alarm.
Swim at beaches where lifeguards are on duty and obey the instructions of the lifeguards and only swim within the safe swimming zones lifeguards mark (using their red and yellow flags). Children should have responsible adult supervision at all times around coastal and inland waters and at swimming pools.
(Source: National Sea Rescue Institute)
Or download this handy PDF – just click on the image:
Stay safe in the ocean this Plett Summer!