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COMMUNITY REQUESTED TO BE VIGILANT IN PREVENTING DROWNINGS: POTCHEFSTROOM
2020/11/09      |  Written By:  Colonel A Myburgh   |   Province:  North West

POTCHEFSTROOM –The North West Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Sello Kwena, is concerned after provincial police divers have been attending to four alleged drowning incidents recently.

In the first incident in Mahikeng on Wednesday, 28 October 2020, the body of a 24-year-old male was recovered after he allegedly fell into the Tontonyane Dam and drowned. In two other unrelated incidents on Sunday, 1 November 2020 and Monday, 2 November 2020 at Mmabatho, two more bodies were recovered of a 25-year-old male and a 40-year-old male,  after the victims got into trouble during flash floods, whilst crossing streams.

Lastly on Thursday, 5 November 2020 at Hartbeespoortdam, the body of a 30-year-old male was recovered after he allegedly drowned in the dam, after slipping on a rock and falling into the dam.                                 

The public is advised to take heed and apply the following safety tips:

When swimming:

•           Never swim alone.

•           Don’t duck and push other into or around water.

•           Ensure that water depths are appropriate for swimming and diving.

•           Never dive into muddy or unclear water.

•           Do not swim during electrical storm.

•           Do not enter the water unless you are a strong swimmer.

•           When swimming in dams, check the edge of the dam for soft mud. Move slowly to the water, if the ground gives way-Retreat.

•           Weeds may occur in all environment and should be avoided whenever possible. If caught in a weed or kelp, swimmers should remain calm, keep all movement to a minimum and remove the weed or kelp before swimming out.

•           Be careful of currents and undertows in fast flowing river.

•           Extreme care should be taken when entering rivers due to changing conditions.

The following observation are important when you want to cross a river or if you want to swim in a river, lake or dam:

•               Before entering the water, check the strength of the current.

•               When caught in a fast flowing river, travel feet first, this will absorb the head and body from serious injury.

•           When you fall into water, unable to stand and reach the side quickly, you should:

Ø  Stay calm.

Ø  Try not to swallow water.

Ø  Keep your  head above the water by kicking as if you are cycling and by paddling with your hands at the same time.

•       When you swim in open water it’s much harder than swimming in the still waters of a pool. This means you may tire faster and that can lead to trouble very quickly.

•       When swimming in rivers or lakes, the murky water can make it difficult to find people who go under.

•       If you swim in a place with a strong current, such as where two rivers meet, it can be easy to be pulled under and swept away.

•       It’s important when you’re out on the water to wear an appropriately fitting life jacket in case you get tossed unexpectedly into the water. This goes for children too.

•       Make sure you check the weather conditions on a day you will be out, and always make sure you have a cell phone handy as well as someone with you who can perform CPR if needed.

•       Talk to your children about the dangers of being in open water and tell them what to do in case of an emergency

General safety tips:

•           The most important rule of water is that everyone should respect water and its environment.

•           Always read and obey advisory notices, it is for your safety.

•           Know where to get assistance.

•           Alcohol and water safety does not mix, alcohol abuse impairs your senses and judgment. It is irresponsible to put others at risk while you are supposedly having fun.

•           If you are not trained to lifesaving or rescue techniques, use any suitable object (e.g. an empty cooler box) to assist a person in difficulty and call for help.

•           Inflatable car tubes and lilo’s are dangerous because they give you a false sense of safety and security.

•           Young children should be constantly supervised when near water, even during bath time.

•           The most dangerous time at the picnic, is upon arrival when parents are unpacking and children venture to discover their surroundings. Children have an irresistible attraction to water.

Fishing:

•           Do not stand  up to cast in small boats.

•           Only cast when it is safe to do so.

•           Keep the boat well balanced.

•           Be careful when wading in fast flowing rivers.

•           Obey the fishing regulations.

•           Always wear non-slip footwear on rocks.

•           When anchored, keep a knife nearby in order to cut the anchor rope when necessary.

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Divers have been attending to alleged drowning incidents
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Divers have been attending to alleged drowning incidents
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Divers have been attending to alleged drowning incidents