NSRI urges caution over full moon spring tide 

Published: December 28th, 2017

high-seas-plett-full-moon-spring-tide-high-waterNSRI are urging extreme public caution and safety awareness around the coast from today and over this coming weekend and next week.

The full moon spring tide peaks on Tuesday, 2 January.

From today, Thursday, 28th December, until around the 7th January, 2018, the full moon Spring Tide will have an affect on the coastline. 

High tide will be higher than normal, low tide will be lower than normal and as a result of this the Rip Currents will be stronger than normal.

NSRI are urging public awareness about Spring Tides to highlight safety around the coast and general safety to bathers, anglers, paddlers, sail boarders and boaters around the coast with this full moon Spring Tide now upon us beach bathers and shoreline anglers are most at risk.

Swim at beaches only where lifeguards are on duty and obey the safety instructions of the lifeguards and only swim within the safe swimming zones lifeguards mark (using their red and yellow flags).

Children should have responsible adult supervision in and around water.

Anglers fishing along the shoreline, particularly along rocks on the shoreline, are at greatest risk during the Spring Tide because incoming waves during the Spring high tides engulf higher than normal over rocks because of the higher than normal high tide.

Anglers should not turn their back to the sea and should be vigilant and cautious of the wave action and the 2 high tides and 2 low tides daily while fishing.

Spring tide happens at every full moon and at every new moon affecting coastal water by causing a higher than normal high tide, a lower than normal low tide and as a result of this it causes rip currents to be stronger than normal.

Spring tide starts to build in intensity about 5 days before the full and new moon and spring tide peaks on the day of the full and new moon and the effects of the spring tide continues for about 5 days after the full and new moon.

Rip currents are found at every beach (along every coastline) everyday (not only during a Spring Tide).

Rip currents are a natural flowing river (channel) of water moving out to sea against the incoming waves.

Some rip currents have surface water strength and some rip currents have underwater strength. (it depends on the Topography of the coastline, factors such as natural phenomenon – rocks, islands, river mouths, gullies and such as man made structures – walls, jetties, harbours).

Some rip currents are constantly present (where there are rocks in the surf, at river mouths, around Islands and gullies and at man made structures like jetties, harbour walls, walls) and some rip currents form at different places during a day (mostly along open beaches where rip currents form at different places for brief periods in time only).

Bathers are urged to go to beaches where lifeguards are on duty and swim between the safe demarcated swimming areas that the lifeguards mark using their red and yellow flags.

Lifeguards may move the demarcated safe swimming area regularly during the day because sometimes a rip current can form unexpectedly.

But the lifeguards are always watching out for this and they then ask the bathers to move to the new safe area.

The 2nd January full moon will be a super moon.

The 31st January full moon will be a blue moon.

There will be no full moon in February – black moon.

Full Moon Spring Tide will occur on 02 January, 2018, and the next Spring Tide is the New Moon Spring Tide on 17 January, 2018.

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