Reading the paper today made me realize that it can't be said enough: YOU NEED TO BE CAREFUL WHEN IN AND AROUND THE SEA. More and more people are being swept out to sea by currents and being taken by surprise by the strength of the sea. With the holiday season coming up...and many school kids on study breaks, there will be an increased number of people on the beaches and in the sea so I thought I'd write a little note on sea safety.
|Durban, South Africa on New Year's Day. (Photo: H de Maine)|
If you get carried out to sea by a rip current, don't fight it, swim parallel to the shore and then surf in with the waves once you're out of the current. Backwash and rip currents aren't as strong when the tide is rising, so if you want to play it safe, rather swim at this time.
Lastly, don't dive into shallow water and play safely!
|Surfer (Photo: Stan Shebs)|
|Snorkeller (Photo: Masato Ikeda)|
|Dive boat (Photo: H de Maine)|
This is the one that most people are wary of. There is no need to be completely terrified, just be aware.
Jellyfish (especially box jellyfish season in Australia): rather don't swim when they are in their masses.
|Box Jellyfish (Photo by GG).|
|Ragged Tooth Shark (Photo: H de Maine)|
Lionfish/Devil Firefish: the general rule applies, if you don't disturb them, they won't disturb you.
|Lionfish (Photo: H de Maine)|
Other: try not to step on any unsuspecting creatures, they may not hurt you (some may) but you'll hurt them. Shuffling your feet through the sand will disturb any bottom-dwelling creatures and ensure that you don't stand on them. Don't pick sea creatures up and take them home, they are home already. Have fun checking out the rock pools, but don't shove shells into anemones to see the tentacle retract and don't remove an octopus out of his hole to show friends. You wouldn't want intruders in your home poking and prodding you, so observe them and show others, but don't disturb them.
That's my bit for today Sea Fans. Enjoy the sea, have fun on the beaches and soak up the sun but please be careful and stay safe.
Have a great weekend.
PS. Capetonians: Kirstenbosch Market this Sunday 9am - 3pm, come and say hi.