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NSRI

RotoTank™ Thanks NSRI

RotoTank™ is a proud Sponsor of NSRI yearly, they do the most amazing Job up and down the South African coastline. Not only saving lives but running teaching programs to Children from all backgrounds, helping them understand not only the dangers of the oceans but also the wonders. All of us at RotoTank™ would like to extend our thanks and gratitude to all the volunteers up and down the country for the dedication, time, and effort they put in to help make our coasts safer.

NSRI, Sea Rescue

What is the History of NSRI in South Africa?

A Simon’s Town teacher Patti Price begin an impassioned letter-writing campaign to various media stating her case for a sea rescue service. Establishment of the NSRI was born from a tragic event.

In 1966, a tragedy unfolded offshore of Stilbaai when four fishing vessels set sail, but only one of them made it back. The devastating loss of life caught the attention of Patti Price. She had experienced the terror of being in distress at sea herself when the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) rescued her as a child from a wrecked ship in the English Channel. Inspired by her own past, Patti envisioned a similar organization for South Africa.

Patti took action, and her efforts didn’t go unnoticed. The Society of Master Mariners of South Africa recognized her contribution and initiated the South African in Shore Rescue Service (SAISRS) in 1967. Sea Rescue volunteers hold a special place in their hearts for Patti Price, and they celebrate her as the founder of the NSRI. They honour her dedication and vision by naming Station Ten’s base in Simon’s Town after her.

Rescue Services

NSRI Sea Rescue

What does Volunteer’s Training Involve?

NSRI, Volunteer Programme


“We operate as an emergency rescue service on South African waters, and our dedicated volunteer crew must acquire, master, and continually hone a wide range of skills to carry out their life-saving duties in diverse scenarios. To accomplish this, each station across the country organizes regular training sessions for its crew. Occasionally, stations come together to facilitate training and collaboration sessions, during which they share knowledge and skills.” To achieve this, each station around the country hosts regular training sessions for its crew.

Our training team visits each station at least once a year to perform on-site training and holds regular structured three-day training courses, including coxswain assessment courses, at our Training Academy in Cape Town. Staying current through agility and adaptability led to the development of our eLearning Academy, an online portal where volunteers can attend virtual training classes in theoretical aspects of sea rescue. With crew sustainability in mind, we also introduced an intensive shorter-form full-time rescue course that allows volunteers to achieve their crew badges and join a station”

Volunteers are the Pivotal force in NSRI, Why?

Life Boats

“Our people are the foundation of our service, and the cornerstone of our mandate to save lives, change lives and create futures in South Africa. Over 1350 unpaid volunteers actively staff NSRI’s rescue stations, remaining on call 24/7 and ready to respond to water-related emergencies.

We have a core staff operating from our Head Office in Cape Town, a number of full and part-time water-safety educators, marketers, lifeguards, and call-centre staff working off site. As an organization, we commit ourselves to practicing transparency, driving transformation, embracing diversity, and promoting sustainability in all our actions. We are agile in our approach to change, offer a professional service, and remain ahead of the curve when it comes to providing our volunteers with world-class training and the latest equipment available to support their life-saving work. We immerse ourselves in the communities where we operate, extending our values to create a broader family network in and beyond our organisation”

Does the NSRI do Animal Rescue?

Sea Rescue Training

“Sea Rescue’s mandate to save lives on South African waters extends to animals as well. A team of dedicated volunteers has actively assisted numerous turtles, seals, birds, and whales in various rescue scenarios. They have also extended their help to man’s best friend by saving several dogs from drowning. Sea Rescue, in partnership with the South African Whale Disentanglement Network (SAWDN), trained 140 volunteers from eighteen stations. Training was highly intricate for disentanglement operations.

Volunteer crew respond to around fifteen callouts per year to assist whales. If you see a whale in distress, please call NSRI’s Emergency Operations Centre on 087 094 9774. In addition, our association with conservation groups, animal sanctuaries and aquariums around the country has meant:

  • We are able to call on specialists to assist when we encounter turtles and marine birds in distress.
  • We are always eager to track the progress of the animals rescued, especially the turtles, as they often need lengthy rehabilitation.

We encourage members of the public to call their nearest emergency number for marine animals in distress. Contact the NSRI’s on the link below, or call the Emergency Operations Centre at 087 094 9774

Who Benefits from the NSRI teaching programs?

The NSRI’s Water Safety Education programme started in 2006. Our focus is on teaching people throughout South Africa to be safe in and around water. We especially look at who are most vulnerable, being children under 14 years.

The need for Water Safety Education is obvious if we consider the drowning statistics in our country. Rural underserved communities are vulnerable to drownings in farm dams, rivers, and streams. Without formal swimming skills people too often find themselves in trouble.

The NSRI’s programme presents an effective Water Safety curriculum to create awareness about the dangers of water.

  • What to do if someone gets into trouble.
  • How to help a friend in need
  • How to perform bystander CPR and who to call for help.

Today, the NSRI has twenty-one full-time instructors who visit schools and clubs around the country. They instruct people about water-safety issues – using colourful teaching materials, and a mannequin to demonstrate bystander CPR.

We have designed the lessons to seamlessly integrate into a typical school schedule. We present them in a fun and interactive manner, ensuring they are age-appropriate and delivered in the learners’ native language. Since the programme started in 2006, we have taught over three million people. In 2017, the NSRI’s Water Safety Education programme received international recognition. A proud runner up for an Outstanding Team Contribution in the International Maritime Rescue Federation awards.

So how Can You Help?

NSRI exists for the interests of all water users in South Africa. There is a place for everyone to be part of our family. Whether it is by simply following our stories, volunteering, or funding a project. Whichever way you choose to engage, we will value it dearly and honour your support with discipline, and integrity. We value your trust in what we do. You can choose the way you would like to support us below; there is something for everyone. https://www.nsri.org.za/support-us

Sea Rescue Services
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