Coast KZN

19 Dec 2017

At least 250 000 descended on KZN beaches

Thobeka Ngema Picture: Sibusiso Ndlovu

Durban – At least 250 000 beachgoers descended on KwaZulu-Natal beaches over the first “peak” weekend.

According to the Festive Season Management Committee (FESMAC) during the weekend (15 to 17 December 2017), 127 180 beachgoers were recorded on the beach, 92 000 in the south and 16 000 in the north.

FESMAC said about 92 rescue operations were carried out and 1 542 people received first aid treatment – mostly from blue bottle stings.

Roughly 252 children were separated from their parents or guardians. A lot of these children, 215,  were from the central beaches. All children were reunited with their families due to the 41 103 armbands given to children on beaches.

Moreover, 165 staff workers from Cleansing and Solid Waste (DSW) department worked on a three shift system daily and collected 980 530 tons of litter. Members of the public have been urged to keep Durban clean by putting their litter in the bins provided.

Malcolm Canham, acting chairperson of FESMAC said the weekend was an opportunity to test all the safety systems that were put in place.

“Lifeguards and other law enforcement officers were kept busy throughout the weekend, as people filled up the beaches,” said Canham. “All taxis and buses were directed to the Drive-Inn Site and some private vehicles parked at the Centrum Site. This resulted in a free flow of traffic on the beachfront.”

Tozi Mthethwa, eThekwini Municipality Head of Communications said a 70-year-old man died at Winkelspruit beach after he suffered a heart attack while bathing in knee-deep water. On Monday, eThekwini received a report of another man who experienced some difficulties while diving. He was pronounced dead at the scene of the incident.

Mthethwa said both incidents are being investigated by the police.