Jeffrey’s Bay is proud to be the site of one of the world’s Blue Flag Beaches. This prestigious award requires the beach being examined to adhere to strict requirements in order to qualify for such a status. These criteria include the areas of safety standards, water quality standards, environmental education initiatives, providing environmental information to the general public, the provision of services to bathers and general environmental management standards.
This programme was started by a non-profit organisation, the Foundation for Environmental Education in a bid to get beaches around the world to improve, and to recognise those who consistently insisted on the highest standards and focussed on safety and sustainability. The countries involved number approximately 60, and are situated in Europe, Africa, North and South America, Australia and Asia.
Over the years, this award has managed to become a much sought after achievement, lending the beach a status that could not otherwise have been achieved. Being internationally recognised also means that a Blue Flag Beach earns global acclaim, not just local recognition.
Dolphin Beach is the main beach in Jeffrey’s Bay, frequented by locals and regular visitors from around the world. This beach has achieved Blue Flag status and is, therefore, recommended for tourists in the area. Safe swimming conditions are complemented by ideal sunbathing spots for a perfect family getaway under the warm South African sun.
Blue Flag Beach managers commit much time and energy to ensuring that swimmers are as safe as possible. Ultimately, however, your safety depends on you. Some water safety tips to consider follow:
1. Swim near a lifeguard
2. Always swim between the red and yellow flags
3. Do not swim under the influence of drugs or alcohol
4. Do not go behind the breakers, even if you are confident of your swimming abilities
5. Always ensure that your children are visible at all times and do not leave them unattended
6. Do not strain against a rip current. Relax and allow it to pull you around until you reach the shore again
7. Call or wave for help if you feel that you are in danger
8. Report any swimmer that you may feel is having difficulty in the water
9. Keep your eye on the water at all times, do not turn your back on the waves
In addition to your safety in the water, remember to apply a high-factor sunscreen throughout the year, regardless of the season. Wear a broad-rimmed sunhat, sunglasses and light, cotton clothing that covers exposed areas of the shoulders, neck, arms and legs to avoid sun damage.
The beaches along the coastline of the Eastern Cape and Jeffrey’s Bay are breath-taking. They play a big part in the culture, and even the economy, of this coastal village. It is no wonder, then, that Dolphin Beach strove for such worldwide acclaim in the arena of water safety and environmental responsibility.