From the 1 December 2023 to 31 January 2024, lifeguards will be deployed daily at the municipal blue flag beaches at Victoria Bay, Herold’s Bay, Wilderness Main beach and Leentjiesklip. (1 – 8 December from 9am – 5pm; 09 December – 31 January from 7am-7pm)
From 1 February to 31 May 2024 lifeguards will be on duty only on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays, between 9am – 5pm, with an option to extend the hours on good weather days at the Blue Flag beaches (Victoria Bay, Herolds Bay, Wilderness Main and Leentjiesklip Beach).
Gwaing River Mouth, Wilderness Lagoon and Steps Beaches will also have Lifeguards according to the above hours.
As of 3 May 2024, until 1 December 2024, there will be no lifeguards deployed at the beaches and swimming pools.
1. Beach Safety
Beaches and swimming pool that fall under the George Municipality’s jurisdiction
Wilderness Main Beach
Victoria Bay Beach
Gwaing River Mouth Beach and Day Camp
Herold’s Bay Beach and Tidal pool
Conville Municipal swimming pool
Uniondale Municipal swimming pool
Essential phone numbers to keep close this summer
The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) Station 23 at Wilderness Beach supports the municipality. The NSRI can be reached on 082 990 5955.
George Fire Department FIRE 044 803 6311
TOLL FREE DISASTER NUMBER: 087 152 9999
George Municipality AFTER HOURS 044 803 6300
How can people keep themselves safe and protected on the beach and in the water?
Learn to swim: Learning to swim is the best defence against drowning. Teach children to swim at an early age. Children who are not taught when they are very young tend to avoid swim instruction as they age, probably due to embarrassment. Swimming instruction is a crucial step in protecting children from injury or death.
Swim near a lifeguard: statistics show that the chance of drowning at a beach without lifeguard protection is almost five times greater than drowning at a beach with lifeguards.
Swim with a buddy: Many drownings involve single swimmers. When you swim with a buddy if one of you has a problem the other may be able to help, including signalling for assistance from others. At least have someone onshore watching you.
Check with the lifeguards: Lifeguards work continually to identify hazards that might affect you. They can advise you on the safest place to swim, as well as places to avoid. They want you to have a safe day. Talk to them when you first arrive at the beach and ask them for their advice.
Use sunscreen and drink water: Everyone loves a sunny day, but exposure to the sun affects your body. Without sunscreen, you can be seriously burned. The sun’s rays can also cause life-long skin damage and skin cancer. To protect yourself always choose “broad spectrum” sunscreen rated from 15 to 50 SPF, or clothing that covers your skin, and reapply sunscreen regularly throughout the day. The sun can also dehydrate you quickly. Drink lots of water and avoid alcohol, which contributes to dehydration. Lifeguards treat people for heat exhaustion and heat stroke from time to time. If you feel ill, be sure to contact a lifeguard.
Obey Posted Signs and Flags: It sometimes seems as though there are too many signs, but the ones at the beach are intended to help keep you safe and inform you about local regulations. Read the signs when you first arrive and please follow their direction. Flags may be flown by lifeguards to advise of hazards and regulations that change from time to time. You can usually find informational signs explaining the flags’ meaning or just ask the lifeguard. ONLY Swim Between the flags. They indicate the swimming Area. Do not swim if there are no Lifeguards on duty.
Keep the Beach and Water Clean: Nobody likes to see the beach or water littered with trash. Even in places where beach cleaning services pick up trash daily, it may linger on the beach for hours, causing an unsightly mess and threatening the health of birds and animals. Broken glass also holds a great risk of injury to beach users. Do your part. Pick up after yourself and even others. Everyone will appreciate you for it.
Learn Rip Current Safety: 80% of rescues by lifeguards at ocean beaches are caused by rip currents. These currents are formed by surf and gravity because once surf pushes water up the slope of the beach, gravity pulls it back. This can create concentrated rivers of water moving offshore. Some people mistakenly call this an undertow, but there is no undercurrent, just an offshore current. If you are caught in a rip current, don’t fight it by trying to swim directly to shore. Instead, swim parallel to shore until you feel the current relax, then swim to shore. Most rip currents are narrow and a short swim parallel to shore will bring you to safety.
Enter Water Feet First: Serious, lifelong injuries, including paraplegia, occur every year due to diving headfirst into unknown water and striking the bottom. Bodysurfing can result in a serious neck injury when the swimmer’s neck strikes the bottom. Check for depth and obstructions before diving, then go in feet first the first time; and use caution while bodysurfing, always extending a hand ahead of you. Be careful even at the swimming pool.
Wear a Life Jacket when on Watercrafts: Some 80% of fatalities associated with boating accidents are from drowning. Most involve people who never expected to end up in the water but fell overboard or ended up in the water when the boat sank. Children are particularly at risk and should wear life jackets whenever they are aboard boats.
2. Public Swimming pools
The lifeguards are available at the Conville and Uniondale pools from 1 December 2023 until 31 May 2024, as per the following swimming pool operating hours.
• Monday to Friday: 13:00 – 16:00 (with 2 Lifeguards on Duty)
• Saturdays and Sundays (Public Holidays): 09:00 – 12:00 and 13:00 – 16:00 with 2 Lifeguards on Duty and one Lifeguard on standby.
The following safety precautions are to be adhered to:
• Do not dive into a pool you have never been in before
• Listen to the lifeguards
• Do not swim alone
• Do not let small children swim in the big pool.
• No diving. No pushing
• Children under the age of 12 must be escorted by an adult (Please note that the small pool at Conville is closed for repairs)
• No weapons
• No alcohol is allowed at the swimming pools
• Right of admission reserved.
The tariffs for entry into both Conville and Uniondale swimming pools are as follows:
• Entrance fee: Adult (Including children 16years and above): R 15, 00 per person
• Children (15 years & under): R 5, 00 per child
• Swimming tuition: per person: R 11, 00 (Both adult and children)
Hire of Conville Swimming Pool:
o Galas for Adults: R1 500,00 / full day
o R 800, 00 / half day
o Deposit R1 500, 00 (Refundable)
o Floodlights: R 300, 00 / hour
o Touchpads: R 4 000, 00 / day
o PLEASE NOTE: Entry fee to the Swimming Pools is VAT INCLUSIVE
For enquiries/bookings: Conville Swimming Pool
Tel: 044 801 9488
Mr G de Villiers Email: firstname.lastname@example.org – Sport Development Assistant
Ms LY Botha Email email@example.com – Sport Development Officer
Ms S Velembo Email firstname.lastname@example.org
For enquiries/Bookings: Uniondale Swimming Pool
Tel: 044-8019020 / 044 7521024 (Uniondale Office)