This shouldn’t be read without reading first reading ‘Is Knysna’s Buffalo Bay Blue Flag Under Threat?’ in which both sides are presented. Additionally, the Buffalo Bay Ski Club is welcomed to provide a full response.
Attention: Joclyn Fearson, Mayor Bouw-Spies, Knysna Municipality
CC: Peter Myers [Deputy Mayor]
Date: Wednesday, December 7th 2016
This is a formal letter of inquiry into the dangerous situation surrounding the Buffalo Bay Ski Club and the allocation of the public parking bays to them.
With the Bay being a Blue Flag Beach, and the number of visitors being attracted to the area yearly, and especially during December and January, we feel that the allocation of such a vast area in probably the most prime spot on the beachfront, to a tiny angling club, the Buffalo bay Ski Club, has to be questioned.
Whilst understanding that there is an absolute need for a launch site in BBay, does it have to have “ownership” of such a prime site during the holidays? Parking is at an utmost premium along Walker drive and the Club locks off about 30% of that prime parking, all for the enjoyment of one or two boat owners and their friends.
Below, please find some of the more pressing observations that need your urgent attention and the possible re-location of the Ski Boat arrangement.
There have been several incidents over the years that have put the public in danger such as:
- Teenagers towing a person on a tyre at high speed close to the public swimming area.
- People that have been obviously drunk, handling powerful boats close to shore, scaring the bathers.
- A lack of buoys leading the boats in and out of the slipway.
- The boats are launching DIRECTLY through the beach bathing area and the 100 metre rule is ignored.
- People going out to sea without life jackets.
All the above is due to there being no Ski Club control whatsoever. Nobody from the club monitors the activities at the slipway, nobody checks for licenses and nobody checks for safety, which is their duty as a registered club.
There is a Ski Club tractor illegally riding around Buffalo Bay without any form of visible licensing displayed.
The parking bays, housing a possible 20 or more cars are chained off whilst only 2 boats occupy that vast space throughout the Xmas season. This is prime beachfront property being reserved for these 2 boats per year, (the same 2 boats, one being the “Chairman’s” boat) These boats are fuelled and oiled on the beachfront within metres of the sea, often leaving spills, and all this on a blue flag beach? Is this even legal?
There is considerable danger to surfers and bathers when the ski boats return to shore, often speeding up so they can slide up the beach somewhat. There have been several near misses along the way over the last 3 years.
The boats should park at the large car-park up from the shops, driven down to the slipway, and launched.
We’d like to address these and other smaller anomalies prevalent at this club and ask that an urgent meeting take place before someone is hurt or killed out there.
Doug de Klerk