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Monday, 30 September 2013

Drownings could have been avoided

CAPE TOWN – Western Province Lifesaving believes the drowning of two North-West pupils at the Camps bay Beach could have been avoided if a contract agreement had been signed with the City of Cape Town.

The agreement ensures paid lifeguards are stationed at Cape Town beaches.

Two boys were swept out to sea in a strong rip current while trying to save a fellow classmate last week.

There were was no lifeguards present at the time of the incident.

One boy survived after being rescued by a Johannesburg man.

Sijadu Mzozoyana accepted a certificate on Saturday for his brave rescue.

The search for the other two continues.

Western Province Lifesaving President Jurie Wessels says, “We’ve had an agreement with the city over the last five years whereby members of volunteer lifeguard clubs do paid lifesaving over certain periods of time in the year. The city’s amenities department has been stalling since April to get a contract into place.”

(Edited by Tamsin Wort)
http://ewn.co.za/2013/09/29/Camps-Bay-drowning-could-have-been-avoided

Beachgoers undeterred by drownings


Over the past week, there have been two separate drowning incidents along the Cape’s coastline.


CAPE TOWN – Western Cape beachgoers have again been urged to exercise caution while swimming in the ocean this summer.

Over the past week, there have been two separate drowning incidents along the Cape’s coastline.

In the first incident, two students from a North West school drowned at Camps Bay beach last week.

In the second incident, a boy drowned at a beach in Melkbosstrand on the West Coast.

Camps Bay was packed on Tuesday with Capetonians lying in the sun, oblivious to a desperate search by police divers for the two teenagers who drowned.

One beachgoer says the drowning incidents are not a deterrent for him.

“Everyone wants to come to the beach. This is not going to stop me from coming to the beach.”

Another beachgoer agreed.

She said, “I don’t think it should scare people away from the beach, but it should make them more aware of the dangers.”

Meanwhile, lifeguards will be back on duty on 29 of the Cape’s beaches as of this weekend following an agreement with the City of Cape Town.

(Edited by Tamsin Wort)
http://ewn.co.za/2013/10/02/Beachgoers-undeterred-by-drownings

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Tragic end to teens’ school tour


The search for the two missing boys at Camps Bay main beach 
continued on Thursday morning. Photo : Henk Kruger

Three teams of divers have resumed a search for two missing boys who are feared to have drowned at Camps Bay beach on Wednesday afternoon.

“Depending on conditions, in my previous experience, it can take up to three or four days for the bodies to resurface,” said James Thomsom, vice-president of the Clifton Surf Lifesaving Club.

Divers from Metro Emergency Medical Services, Fire and Rescue Services and the police entered the ocean shortly after dawn. They were supported by police jet skiers and the K-9 unit.

Two teenagers went missing and are presumed dead after they were swept out to sea late on Wednesday afternoon.

The boys, both aged 16, went into the water to rescue a friend, 15, who was struggling against the rip current at around 5pm.

The 15-year-old was rescued by a bystander and taken to hospital in a stable condition. He did not sustain serious injuries and was discharged from hospital this morning, said an EMS spokesman.

The teenagers were on a school tour from North West Province. They attend RB Dithupe Intermediate School in Zeerust, and were due to return home by bus on Thursday.

NSRI spokesman Craig Lambinon said the pupils and teachers from the school would be brought to the beach for “closure” before embarking on their trip home. They were scheduled to arrive at the beach at noon.

The Cape Argus attempted to get comment from the school, but was told by Lambinon that the governing body had asked staff not to talk to the media.

“We have offered a direct line of communication to the parents of the two children, but thus far they have not contacted us. The school’s staff are currently in contact with them. When the time is right, arrangements will be made for the parents to travel to Cape Town to collect the remains and to have a memorial service at the beach, if they so wish,” said Lambinon.

The two missing boys were caught in the current that washes from the middle of Camps Bay beach out towards Glen Beach.

The NSRI were the first to respond, launching a search-and-rescue vessel and divers into the water.

Two hours after the boys’ disappearance, Lambinon said there was little chance they were still alive.

Thomsom was on his way to the beach for a game of touch rugby when the first sign of distress was noticed. Five minutes later, the boys had already disappeared beneath the waves.

“Where these guys got in trouble there is a strong rip current,” he said. “It wouldn’t pull them too far out, but it would make it very hard for them to swim to shore.”

He said the water was around 13 degrees at the time. “The waves, the cold and the rip current are a cocktail for trouble.”

Thomsom added that the incident could have been avoided if lifesavers had been on duty. But it is still the off-season, and lifesavers are not stationed until summer sets in and the beaches get busier.

“If a large group of children are on their way to the beach for an outing, I would suggest that lifesavers are alerted so that special arrangements can be made,” he said.

The classmates and teachers of the missing boys received trauma counselling soon after the incident yesterday.

Cape Argus

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Two teens drown at Camps Bay



The search for two pupils swept out to sea by a rip current has been called off.

Two teenage pupils are missing and presumed dead after being swept out to sea at Camps Bay beach late on Wednesday afternoon.

The boys, both aged 16, went into the water to rescue a friend, 15, who was struggling against the rip current at around 5pm. The 15-year-old was rescued by a bystander and taken to hospital in a stable condition.

The teenagers were on a school tour to Cape Town from the North West province. They attend RB Dithupe Primary in Zeerust, and were due to return home by bus on Thursday.

The two missing boys were caught in the current that washes from the middle of Camps Bay beach out towards Glen Beach.

They disappeared beneath the surf within five minutes.

The NSRI were the first to respond, launching a search-and-rescue vessel and divers into the water. Two hours after the boys’ disappearance, spokesman Craig Lambinon said there was little chance they were still alive.

James Thomsom, vice-president of the Clifton Surf Lifesaving Club, was already on his way to the beach for a game of touch rugby when the first sign of distress was noticed. Five minutes later, the boys had already disappeared beneath the waves.

“Where these guys got in trouble there is a strong rip current,” he said. “It wouldn’t pull them too far out, but it would make it very hard for them to swim to shore.”

He said the water was around 13 degrees at the time. “The waves, the cold and the rip current are a cocktail for trouble.”

Metro Rescue had four divers in the water, working alongside the NSRI against the fading light.

By 7pm it was too dark and they called off the search. Spokesman Alistair Christians said the divers would continue at first light.

A Skymed helicopter was also dispatched to the scene but retired when daylight faded.

At 7.30pm, Lambinon said the case was no longer a rescue mission, and had been handed over to police divers to recover the bodies.

NSRI would continue to assist with beach patrols as low tide approached.

The classmates and teachers of the missing boys received trauma counselling immediately. The school’s principal was still trying to contact the parents of the missing children at the time of going to press.

By Chelsea Geach

Cadet News Agency
Cape Argus

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Concerned Parents Group: Answer to CBRRA letter in Atlantic Sun 29 Aug 2013

Re: Letter by Chris Willemse (Chairman of Camps Bay Residents and Ratepayers Assoc) Atlantic Sun 29 August refers.

We, the Concerned Parents Group, are encouraged by the continued commitment expressed by CBRRA to promote the best interest of the community. We all agree that the land currently occupied by the Camps Bay Bowling Club should be used in such a way as to derive maximum benefit for the maximum number of community members.

We are therefore perplexed by Mr Willemse’s assertion that maximum benefit will be derived from a shared arrangement in which the school is allocated “an area” of “the current large parking lot”, while the Bowling Club retains the rest of the facility. While we are definitely in favour of some form of shared facility use with other interest groups, we believe that primary schooling should constitute the main activity on the site. Our reasons are:

1.     According to spatial allocations published by the City and the Western Cape Education Department, Camps Bay is currently over-provided for in terms of active recreation facilities (121% and this does not take into account access to beaches and mountains) and severely under-provided for in terms of primary schooling facilities (31%). Even if the entire piece of land were given over to primary schooling, there would still be a significant imbalance, with active recreation reduced to 112% of the optimal, and primary schooling increased to 40% . (These calculations can be viewed on the CPG’s Facebook page.)

2.     The Prep and Primary Schools in Camps Bay which, though split across two campuses for historical reasons, together constitute the community’s primary schooling facility, run a two-stream system, with two classes per grade for grades R to 7. As evidenced by a significant number of our community’s children being turned away in the past five years, a shift to a three-stream system is well overdue. This implies a 50% growth in pupil numbers and “an area” of the parking lot will be hopelessly inadequate to accommodate this growth. The current Prep School campus does not have any sporting facilities at all; it has minimal play facilities (not a blade of grass); and it has a tiny hall, which can barely accommodate the current numbers.

3.     The Bowling Club, by contrast, is hopelessly underutilizing the land. According to their AGM report for 2012, they were not able to fill two teams (four players per team) to compete in the league, and had to borrow members from the Gardens Club. Meanwhile, the Glen Country Club one kilometer away is concerned about the future of its Bowls section, according to a letter from its president. (See CPG’s Facebook page for both documents.) Clearly, the community’s need for education facilities far outstrips its need for bowling facilities.

4.     The Prep and Primary Schools have a strong community spirit. They already share their facilities with a large number of other interest groups in the community, for judo, spanish dancing, prayer groups and youth groups, to name a few. So the host of community-oriented activities which currently use the bowling club’s hall would probably continue to do so - with the exception of any requiring a liquor license. The rest of the clubhouse would be renovated to suit the school’s needs, and the two bowling greens, currently restricted to single-use due to their fragile nature, would become mixed-use sporting facilities which the school would share with the community. A model for this is the Symmonds Field, which is leased and tended by the Primary School, but used at least as much by the rest of the community.

The fact is that, while the land can be used to great benefit by a number of interest groups alongside the school, co-habitation with the CBBC is both unnecessary and impossible. It is unnecessary because no one is being denied access to bowling facilities. It is impossible because the premises cannot accommodate the needs of both school and club simultaneously.

Mr Willemse also made reference to 2014 as a date for the expansion of the Prep School. It is important that the community is aware that 2014 is no longer a possibility. The parents in the community, especially those who have not yet secured a place for their children, hope fervently that the rest of the community will support us in making expansion a reality for 2015. Until then, our children will continue to suffer the consequences of spatial allocations that currently do not derive maximum benefit for the community.

Fiona Hart
Deputy chairperson, Concerned Parents Group




Tuesday, 10 September 2013

CBPS and CBRRA holds successful meeting to re-negotiate partitioned option

TO: CBRRA Manco

The meeting last evening attended by Sandy, Michele and Fiona from the school and John, Brent and myself was positive to the point that they agreed to reconsider the shared option but with the emphasis more on a partition option, in which both the school and club have separate but adjoining facilities. This will (hopefully) remove the liquor licence obstacle.

I will organise a meeting with the club to pursue this matter.

Cheers

Chris 

From: "Fiona Hart" <fionamcintosh@telkomsa.net>
Subject: CPG reply to Chris Willemse's letter
Date: 10 September 2013 11:04:47 AM SAST
To: "'Chris Willemse'" <cnwillemse@gmail.com>
Cc: "'Sandy Van Hoogstraten'" <sandy@palmtreehouse.co.za>, "'Michele Harvey'" <michele@tictac.co.za>

Hi Chris,

Thank you very much for taking the time to meet yesterday.

I do feel that it was constructive and hope that there might be a way that
we could find a suitable solution in the quickest possible time and with the
lease amount of resistance from the community.

We will wait to hear from you regarding a possible proposal from the bowling
club.

As a courtesy I felt I should send you the letter that I send to Atlantic
Sun in response to your letter.  I sent it in last week but missed the
deadline so there is a good chance it will be in this week's edition.

Please feel free to contact Sandy or myself if you have any further
questions.

Kind regards,
Fiona Hart



Re: Letter by Chris Willemse (Chairman of Camps Bay Residents and Ratepayers Assoc) Atlantic Sun 29 August refers.

We, the Concerned Parents Group, are encouraged by the continued commitment expressed by CBRRA to promote the best interest of the community. We all agree that the land currently occupied by the Camps Bay Bowling Club should be used in such a way as to derive maximum benefit for the maximum number of community members.

We are therefore perplexed by Mr Willemse’s assertion that maximum benefit will be derived from a shared arrangement in which the school is allocated “an area” of “the current large parking lot”, while the Bowling Club retains the rest of the facility. While we are definitely in favour of some form of shared facility use with other interest groups, we believe that primary schooling should constitute the main activity on the site. Our reasons are:

1.     According to spatial allocations published by the City and the Western Cape Education Department, Camps Bay is currently over-provided for in terms of active recreation facilities (121% and this does not take into account access to beaches and mountains) and severely under-provided for in terms of primary schooling facilities (31%). Even if the entire piece of land were given over to primary schooling, there would still be a significant imbalance, with active recreation reduced to 112% of the optimal, and primary schooling increased to 40% . (These calculations can be viewed on the CPG’s Facebook page.)

2.     The Prep and Primary Schools in Camps Bay which, though split across two campuses for historical reasons, together constitute the community’s primary schooling facility, run a two-stream system, with two classes per grade for grades R to 7. As evidenced by a significant number of our community’s children being turned away in the past five years, a shift to a three-stream system is well overdue. This implies a 50% growth in pupil numbers and “an area” of the parking lot will be hopelessly inadequate to accommodate this growth. The current Prep School campus does not have any sporting facilities at all; it has minimal play facilities (not a blade of grass); and it has a tiny hall, which can barely accommodate the current numbers.

3.     The Bowling Club, by contrast, is hopelessly underutilizing the land. According to their AGM report for 2012, they were not able to fill two teams (four players per team) to compete in the league, and had to borrow members from the Gardens Club. Meanwhile, the Glen Country Club one kilometer away is concerned about the future of its Bowls section, according to a letter from its president. (See CPG’s Facebook page for both documents.) Clearly, the community’s need for education facilities far outstrips its need for bowling facilities.

4.     The Prep and Primary Schools have a strong community spirit. They already share their facilities with a large number of other interest groups in the community, for judo, spanish dancing, prayer groups and youth groups, to name a few. So the host of community-oriented activities which currently use the bowling club’s hall would probably continue to do so - with the exception of any requiring a liquor license. The rest of the clubhouse would be renovated to suit the school’s needs, and the two bowling greens, currently restricted to single-use due to their fragile nature, would become mixed-use sporting facilities which the school would share with the community. A model for this is the Symmonds Field, which is leased and tended by the Primary School, but used at least as much by the rest of the community.

The fact is that, while the land can be used to great benefit by a number of interest groups alongside the school, co-habitation with the CBBC is both unnecessary and impossible. It is unnecessary because no one is being denied access to bowling facilities. It is impossible because the premises cannot accommodate the needs of both school and club simultaneously.

Mr Willemse also made reference to 2014 as a date for the expansion of the Prep School. It is important that the community is aware that 2014 is no longer a possibility. The parents in the community, especially those who have not yet secured a place for their children, hope fervently that the rest of the community will support us in making expansion a reality for 2015. Until then, our children will continue to suffer the consequences of spatial allocations that currently do not derive maximum benefit for the community.

Fiona Hart
Deputy chairperson, Concerned Parents Group



Thursday, 5 September 2013