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NSRI: Over 30 drownings reported in SA

The NSRI says it responded to more than 30 drowning reports over the festive season.

The NSRI says it responded to more than 30 drowning reports over the festive season. Picture: Andrew Ingram/NSRI

CAPE TOWN - The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) says it responded to more than 30 drowning incidents along the country's coastline over the festive season.

NSRI officials have had their hands full since the beginning of December, especially with dangerous rip currents along the coast.

In the latest incident, a 47-year-old man drowned in the Port Edward area in KwaZulu-Natal at the weekend after he was swept out to sea by a rip current.

NSRI CEO Cleeve Robertson says, "The rescue responded to 31 drowning incidents along the South African coastline, there was one inland in fresh water. But 30 percent of those are related to rip currents, which seems to be a big problem on the beaches."

He says its surprising 60 percent of those who have drowned are adults.

"Some may be related to alcohol, but we don't have statistics as to how many. Alcohol is certainly a big factor in that. Normally most of the drowning incidents involve young children."