22 April, 2016 22 April, 2016

Durban beach’s used Needles

A series of unfortunate events have taken place on the Durban beaches lately, and it’s not the drop ins and snaking that take place daily. But, we’ll get to the point…


Durban is home to some quality waves, providing a natural high for many surfers. ©Luke Patterson

John McCarthy, a stand out surfer in along the SA coastline recently posted on Facebook that he stood on a needle and syringe, that had been irresponsibly discarded, while taking a run on the beach sand on Wednesday morning.

He said that the needle was buried, unseen, in the sand and appeared to have been used. John got bit of a fright when he realised what had happened, he posted on his Facebook, “I had to stop and pull it out of my heel. Thankfully it was where the epidermis is pretty thick, but I don’t know exactly how deep it penetrated or what was on the needle when it did. So as a precaution I took myself off to casualty to get checked out.”

The buried, unseen, cursed used needle. ©John McCarthy

No one knows where these needles are coming from, and John’s incident isn’t once off. There have been many cases of used needles found the the Durban beaches, mainly the Wedge / South Beach area. McCarthy took to Facebook to highlight the problem yesterday afternoon. By 5.30pm his update had been shared close to 500 times.

Grant Harper takes incredible surf photographs (Seen HERE) also had a similar experience. “I had one on Easter Sunday, walking and talking to Spider Murphy before I trampled on a needle just before Moyo pier. I’m in no hurry to go back to town.”

On March 20, alongside pictures of used needles on the beach, local ripper, Lee Van Vuuren posted: “So our walk along the waterline went a little bit like this – eight syringes, some still with bent needles. This is unacceptable and needs to be dealt with immediately. This is not the first time that this has happened.”

The discarded syringes and needles which local surfers found while walking along the Durban beachfront shoreline last month. ©Lee Van Vuuren

KwaZulu-Natal premier Senzo Mchunu wants to know how dozens of used needles have turned up on Durban’s beachfront. Mchunu’s spokesman, Ndabazinhle Sibiya, said yesterday that the provincial government would thoroughly investigate the incidents.

“This matter has been brought to our attention and the premier views it in a very serious light.

His office will work together with the provincial department of health, the eThekwini Municipality and other independent bodies.

We must protect all our beaches as they are important to our province. We want to assure surfers and beach-goers that this matter will be investigated urgently,” said Sibiya.

A syringe found on the Durban beachfront ©John McCarthy

“I’ve been a daily surfer for the past 25 years and I’ve never seen needles on the beach until the last month or so. So please be careful, especially in the soft sand above the high water mark, because you can’t see them if they are buried there.,” John McCarthy.

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