‘Listen to lifeguards’

Amanzimtoti senior lifeguard, Peacemaker Mthethwa is gearing up for a busy festive season on Toti main beach.

“The hardest part about doing my job is people who don’t listen and intoxicated people.”

Those are the words of senior lifeguard, Peacemaker Mthethwa, who is based at Amanzimtoti main beach.

Peacemaker has been a lifeguard for 11 years. He started as a volunteer while in high school in Lamontville and qualified in 2002. He was first based at Warner Beach, but moved to Toti in 2010.

To make his job easier he said people must only swim in between the lifeguards’ flags and if they hear a lifeguard blow his whistle, they need to turn around and pay attention to what the lifeguard is saying.

“You must also protect yourself from the sun.

Always swim in an area patrolled by lifeguards. Where beaches are unmanned, that’s where you will have drownings.

By swimming in an unprotected area, you are not only endangering yourself, but your family and friends too. Plus it is against the municipal bylaws.”

You can be fined R2,000 for swimming after hours or in an area unmanned by lifeguards, and R1,000 for not abiding by signage posted or listening to the authorities.

Once lifeguards are off-duty, the facilities are closed.

The following beaches will be open for bathing from 6am to 6pm, seven days a week during the festive season: Umgababa, Winklespruit, Warner Beach, Toti main beach, Pipeline Beach and Reunion Beach.

The areas north and south of Toti main beach will be open from 9am to 4.30pm until 12 January.

The following beaches will be patrolled by seasonal lifeguards between the hours of 8am and 5pm, but no bathing is allowed: Umbogintwini River mouth, Twini Beach, Tiger Rocks, Baggies Beach, Dakota and Subway Beach.

There is no swimming allowed in the area south of Umgababa to Umkomaas/Widenham, as it has no shark nets and that is the roughest part of the coastline.

The fresh water swimming pool at Pipeline and saltwater pools at Inyoni rocks (Toti main beach) and Winklespruit will be open from 6am to 6pm.

Any beach complaints can be directed to 031-322-90943. For drownings or near drownings only, call the 24-hour line 074-562-4888.

“Don’t drink and swim,” warned Peacemaker. “When people don’t want to leave the water, it makes our job harder. Get out of the water when the lifeguards go off duty.

Listen to what the lifeguards tell you, as we are here to ensure you are safe.”

Earl Baillache

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