Beach Bunch: Beware of strong currents when swimming

National 1 minute, 31 seconds


NON-GOVERNMENTAL organisation Beach Bunch has advised the public to be careful of rip currents when swimming at beaches following the recent drowning of a teenage boy at Meragang Beach.

Rizan Latif, president of Beach Bunch, said members of the public need to be aware of rip currents — powerful and narrow channels of fast-moving water — that pose a safety hazard for swimmers.

“Due to the fourth tragic drowning this year in Brunei particularly at our beaches and the current monsoon season, please be aware of the dangers of the rip currents at the beaches when swimming,” said Rizan during a phone interview yesterday.

“Rip currents, powerful currents of water moving away from shore are common during this monsoon season and can sweep away even the strongest swimmer out to sea,” added Rizan Latif.

In its advisory, Beach Bunch said if swimmers are caught in a rip current, they should stop fighting against the current and instead swim parallel to the shore to escape.

In the event that swimmers cannot escape, float or tread water, the NGO said they should call or wave for assistance.

Members of the public should only enter the water if they know how to swim, have companions and when there is no sign of danger, it added.

Rizan said the Beach Bunch continues to support the need for lifeguards to be stationed at all beaches in Brunei for public safety.

In a 2014 report, Beach Bunch and its Australian consultant had recommended for the sultanate to introduce lifeguards on eight of its beaches.

At the time, risk assessor Stuart Massey from Australia’s Surf Life Saving New South Wales said the hazard level of Brunei’s beaches were mid-range and suggested lifeguards at Muara, Berakas, Tungku, Seri Kenangan, Lumut, Kuala Belait, Empire, Telisai and Panaga beaches.

The Brunei Times