The festive season is around the corner and holiday-makers will be heading to the coast to soak up the sun and visit the beach. The ocean, as beautiful as it is, can become dangerous if you are not aware of potential risks.

One of Budget Rent a Car’s CSI initiatives is the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), a charity that saves lives on South African waters. Budget helps the organisation by providing them with vehicles to help the NSRI with their day to day work as well as travelling and transporting their equipment. With over 1000 volunteers on standby, day and night, throughout the year, the NSRI has seen its fair share of tragedies.

Budget has partnered with the NSRI to bring you their top tips for swimming safely in the ocean:Budget Swimming Infographic

Always swim in designated areas supervised by life guards.
Identify rip tides and escape them before they carry you off. Rip tides can occur where there are breaking waves. Spotting one is not easy, especially to the untrained eye. So be sure to heed warnings issued by lifeguards. If you become caught in a rip, don’t panic, swim parallel to the shore until you escape. Call or signal for help to bring a lifeguard to your aid.
While swimming under the moonlight may seem poetic, you can easily become disoriented and lose sight of the shore at night, and not know in which direction you should swim.
Always swim with a friend and do not allow anyone to swim alone. If you get into a dangerous situation, your companion will assist you or get help.
Never leave a young child unattended near water, nor leave children to look after each other. Children must always be under adult supervision.
Teach children to always ask permission to go near water and ensure that all your family members have learnt how to swim. This may seem obvious but it is very important to know the swimming strengths of every member in your family so you can monitor those who are most at risk of drowning or hurting themselves.
If someone in your group is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability. You could save a life while waiting for help or you can direct the lifeguards to where the person was last seen.
Make your own safety kit. Throw extra equipment into your beach bag, such as a cellphone, life jackets and a first aid kit.
Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine in them because they can make you disorientated and you could easily drown or hurt yourself.
Keep the local emergency number stored in your phone or close at hand.

Budget Rent a Car Chief Executive, Rainer Gottschick says, “Holidays are a time to relax and enjoy the company of family and friends. Budget Rent a Car is committed to ensuring that all our customers travel safely to their holiday destination. Our partnership with the NSRI is an extension of that commitment because we want our customers to be safe while they are on vacation too.”

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