Five lifeguards will be deployed to the Sardinia Bay beach from this weekend, Nelson Mandela Bay municipal spokesman Mthubanzi Mniki said yesterday.
This comes as Sardinia Bay Lifesaving Club volunteer lifeguards have suspended their services.
The club recently saw its numbers dwindle dramatically after the municipality ordered that its clubhouse be demolished.
Club stalwart Grant Breetzke said yesterday the minimum number of lifesavers needed was four on every recreational beach, according to Lifesaving SA standards.
“We had four squads of eight to 10 lifesavers on duty,” he said.
He said his greatest concern was that lifesavers who did not know the beach or currents at Sardinia Bay might be deployed.
“My lifesaving crews knew that beach and the currents like the backs of their hands,” he said.
“It is not a beach for inexperienced lifeguards.”
Nelson Mandela Bay mayoral chief of staff Kristoff Adelbert said the municipality’s hands were tied regarding the lifesavers’ clubhouse.
But everything possible had been done to assist the club and the council remained committed to finding a solution that benefited lifeguards and, most importantly, beach users.
“Although the closure and demolition of the existing structure is regrettable, the forces of nature have left us with no choice,” he said
“The new site is the best option in terms of providing services, access to roadways and proximity to helicopter landing sites.”
“While it is disappointing that the volunteer lifesavers have suspended their duties, the municipality was planning to deploy additional lifeguards to the beach in any case.”
Mniki said 47 seasonal lifeguards were contracted for the Bay’s beaches and five of them would be deployed to Sardinia Bay.
“They start this weekend.”