Given the decrease in temperature over the past few weeks, visits to the beach are becoming increasingly rare, and for some folks along the Southern Cape coastline this may be the final straw.
The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) has told the public to be be extremely cautious, as they record an increasing number of shark sightings close to shore.
The biggest hotspots are along the coastline between Nature’s Valley, Mossel Bay and around the Plettenberg Bay area. More from Traveller24:
On Wednesday, 25 May, hikers along an elevated stretch of a hiking trail above Wreck Beach, in Robberg Nature Reserve, noticed three surfers being harassed by a shark close to the shore.
The surfers managed to reach the beach without incident, “but this has again highlighted the necessity to urge public caution along this stretch of coastline”, the NSRI says.
The increase in shark inshore presence at this time of the year is part of the normal aggregation of these animals. “Sharks are aggregating in this area at this time, as they have done in previous years, to take advantage of naturally occurring prey like seals and fish, close in shore,” the NSRI says.
A list of safety precautions the public are advised to follow:
• Do not swim, surf or surf-ski when birds, dolphins or seals are feeding nearby
• Do not swim, surf or surf-ski where, fishing or spear fishing is taking place
• Do not swim in deep water beyond the breakers
• Do not swim if you are bleeding
• Do not swim near river mouths
• Do not swim, surf or surf-ski at night
• Do not swim, surf or surf-ski if there has been a whale stranding nearby
• Obey beach officials and lifeguards if told to leave the water
• If a shark has recently been sighted in an area, consider using another beach for the day
• First-time visitors to beach areas should ask the local law enforcement official, lifeguards or locals about the area
• For those people kayaking or surf-skiing far out to the sea: please consider paddling in groups and staying close together (in a diamond formation)
• Consider using a personal shark shield when you go surfing or kayaking
• Pay attention to any shark signage on beaches
• Do not swim, surf or surfski alone
In summary – swim at your own risk, I guess.
This article, The Cape Coast Has Just Been Put On High Shark Alert Someones Hungry, first appeared on 2oceansvibe.com.