Have a Safe Summer on Cape Town's Beaches

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Have a Safe Summer on Cape Town's Beaches

The City of Cape Town urges beach users to assist in making this a safe summer

Last Updated: 14 December 2016

Summer is here and Cape Town’s beaches are about to become home to most of us. In preparation for this season, the City of Cape Town and the Department of Recreation and Amenities encourage all beach users to enjoy our beautiful seas responsibly this summer. 

Starting on Saturday, 5 November 2016 - volunteer lifeguards are patrolling on our beaches during weekends between 10am and 6pm. The city has 12 permanently appointed lifeguards whilst more than a 100 are employed on a seasonal basis. During the peak season – starting on Thursday, 1 December 2016 – more than 200 lifeguards and 1500 temporary volunteer lifeguards will be on duty daily on the various beaches.

The lifeguard service will be receiving help from accredited members of lifesaving clubs and teams that will work intimately with the National Sea Rescue Institute volunteers.

The aim of the City’s lifeguarding programme is to provide high-quality standards that provide lifeguards with better career options. Beach safety is the key to Cape Town’s beaches achieving international accolades that contribute to Cape Town being one of the most popular beach cities in the world. "Having a world-class lifeguarding service is essential in keeping the Blue Flag flying above 10 of our beaches” said the Mayoral Committee Member of Community Service, Councillor Anda Ntsodo.

To assist the City in achieving its goal of a drowning-free summer, beach goers must please observe these basic rules:

  • Only swim at beaches that have lifeguards on duty.
  • Swim between the red and yellow flags.
  • Never swim alone, always inform your friends or family members when you are going swimming
  • If you find yourself in danger, turn on your back and float, raise your arm and wave to attract the lifeguard’s attention. Try not to panic, as this will make you tired.
  • If you see someone struggling in the water, alert the lifeguards or find trained help.
  • Call emergency services on 107 or 021 480 7700 from a cellphone if you require assistance.

When planning your trip to the beach please note that lifeguards will be on duty at the following beaches:

  • Melkbosstrand
  • Silwerstroomstrand
  • Big Bay Beach
  • Milnerton Beach
  • Clifton
  • Camps Bay Beach
  • Llandudno Beach
  • Blue Waters
  • Hout Bay
  • Fish Hoek
  • Kalk Bay
  • Danger's Beach
  • Muizenberg Beach
  • Sunrise Beach
  • Strandfontein Beach
  • Mnandi
  • Monwabisi Beach
  • Macassar Beach
  • Strand Beach
  • Gordon's Bay
  • Bikini Beach
  • Kogel Bay

Other safety tips at beaches include: Talking to the lifesavers about local hazards before getting in the water. Make sure that you read warning signs on the beach.

  • There is nothing wrong with making young children wear approved life jackets to play in the surf. That doesn’t mean you can leave them alone – but it will make them safer.
  • Never drink and swim – 60% of drownings involve the consumption of alcohol.
  • If you cannot swim, do not attempt to swim without some practice.
  • Always make sure you can see your children. Children can drown in 5cm of water and a drowning child makes no noise
  • For more information please go to

In the case of an emergency on the beach, residents are urged to contact the National Sea Service Institute or alert the City through the Public Emergency Communication Centre. Beachgoers can dial 107 from a landline or +27 (0)21 480 7700 from their cellphones.

Remember to follow these basic rules to ensure yourself of a safe summer at the beach this festive season.


Interested in other adventurous sea activities? Check out this feature on kite-surfing lessons from our great friends at High Five Kite Board School.


Interested in the best beaches in Cape Town? Check our overview on Cape Town’s top beaches.


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