Picture: for illustration purposes

Super Blue Moon to Elevate Dangerous Rip

Published September 21, 2023
8 months ago

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) of South Africa has issued a warning to the public due to an unusual celestial event - the super blue moon - set to influence the country's coastal zones on the 30th and 31st of August. According to the astronomical calendar, a supermoon signifies the moon’s closest approach to Earth in its orbital pattern, and when it happens twice in a month, it is termed as a 'blue moon'. This impending super blue moon is notably the third in a series of four successive supermoons, making its proximity to Earth exceptionally close, giving rise to stronger rip currents.



During this lunar occurrence, even planet Saturn will be visibly closer to the Earth, marking the nearest planetary position until the year 2023. The close approach event coincides with spring tides - higher high tides and lower low tides triggered by full and new moons. This super blue moon's spring tide is expected to intensify the usual rip currents along the coastlines.



NSRI is urging swimmers, mariners, coastal tourists and residents to be vigilant around the coastline and the sea, as the amplified gravitational pull of this close-approaching moon will cause stronger and potentially dangerous rip currents. It is a natural phenomenon that high tides have been steadily elevating, and low tides receding more drastically in the preceding days due to spring tides.


Moreover, the weather conditions in South African waters have already been precarious due to winter sea roughness, incited by recent cold fronts and offshore storms along the coastline. Facing these potential hazards, the NSRI is appealing for the public's cooperation in exercising maximum caution during this upcoming lunar event period.


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