Cape Town – Beachgoers on the East Coast and especially along the Durban beachfront should remain on high alert as wave heights of up to 5m are expected on Monday morning, 13 March.
Durban’s popular North Beach was closed on Sunday afternoon after waves were crashing over onto the Promenade.
“The beach was closed to bathers and lifeguards on the promenade are monitoring the people,” IPSS Medical Rescue spokesperson Paul Herbst said on Sunday.
According to the South African Weather Service’s KwaZulu-Natal office on Monday, the swell will gradually decrease towards Wednesday, 15 March.
Stacy Colborne for the SA Weather Service in KZN told Traveller24 that the massive waves were “due to a combination of factors, including the Spring Tide and strong south-westerly wind that was experienced along the coast on Sunday, 12 March”.
She says the high tide was not affected by Cyclone Enawo, the powerful storm currently wreaking havoc in the neighbouring island of Madagascar.
For Monday, Colborne says, “Waves height along the Durban coast this morning will still reach up to 5m, after which it will gradually decrease. Wave heights of between 3.5m to 4.5m are expected until Tuesday.”
She warns that although the wave height will decrease as the Spring Tide passes, the sea will remain very rough until Wednesday.
According to the countrywide weather forecast from the SA Weather Service, the East Coast is also expected to see some rain on Monday.
In order to stay safe, beach-goers are being asked to adhere to the following safety tips –
Swim only where there are lifeguards and where signs indicate that it is safe to do so.
If you see someone else in trouble in the sea, alert the lifeguards or find help. Do not put your own life in danger as well.
Don’t drink alcohol before swimming or driving motor boats. The use of alcohol dulls the senses, slows the reactions and can lead to irresponsible behavior.
Don’t dive from tidal pool walls – this can result in spinal injuries.
Do not take small or unstable boats out far from the shore in choppy water or bad weather.
If you are caught in a rip current, stay calm and relax. Swim slowly and conservatively parallel to the shoreline or relax and let it carry you out past the breakers until it slacks.
Emergency Numbers – Emergency calls to these numbers will be routed to the relevant Sea Rescue authority –
Ambulance – 10177
Police – 10111
Local KZN Port Control Numbers as detailed on the NSRI website –
Durban Port Control 031 361 8567
Richards Bay Port Control 035 753 1991 or 035 905 3401/3444