Coast KZN

22 Jan 2018

Massive Durban waves wash up medical waste, more high swells expected

Gabi Zietsman (Traveller 24) Picture: Photo: Rivaaj Ramdas (Facebook)

Durban’s North Beach was hit by big waves on Sunday, which resulted in the death of a 7-year-old girl.

Rescue Care was alerted after the girl was swept off a pier and although life guards managed to find her in the water, their advanced life support paramedics were unable to resuscitate her.

The freak waves came without warning and flooded parts of the road running parallel to the beach. Medical waste including syringes also washed up on the beach, which led to sections being cordoned off. Some are claiming that the waste either comes from drug users discarding needles under the bridges near the beach or illegal dumping out at sea, but no source has officially been confirmed.

Last year plastic pellets infested Durban beaches after the storm that caused million of rands of damage.

Beachgoers are advised to avoid this part of the beach until clean-up operations are complete and the swell has died down. Surfers have also been warned.

According to the South African Weather Service forecaster Wiseman Dlamini, Sunday’s waves during high-tide measured 1.8m as the average surf conditions reached 3.5m. However, during the second high-tide phase, wave heights measured around 5m, according to Dlamini. For Monday’s forecast wave heights of 4 to 4.5m can be expected as winds coming from the north-east are set to reach 15 to 25 knots.

A 30% chance of rain is expected over central KZN, while a 60% chance of rain is forecast for the province’s western parts.  See the full weather update for Monday here.