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.

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.

The tragedy occurred offshore of Stilbaai in 1966. Four fishing vessels went out to sea and only one returned. The devastating loss of life captured Patti Price’s attention. She was no stranger to the terror of being out at sea in distress, having been rescued as a child from a wrecked ship in the English Channel by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI). Patti wanted something like the RNLI for South Africa. The pen proved indeed, and her efforts were acknowledged by the Society of Master Mariners of South Africa who started the South African in Shore Rescue Service (SAISRS) in 1967. Patti Price has a special place in the hearts of Sea Rescue volunteers and is recognised as the founder of the NSRI. Station ten’s Simon’s Town base is named in her honour.

What does Volunteer’s Training Involve?

“As an emergency rescue service operating on South African waters, our volunteer crew are required to achieve, master and maintain a wide range of skills to perform their lifesaving work in often truly diverse scenarios. To achieve this, each station around the country hosts regular training sessions for its crew. From time-to-time stations host each other for training and collaboration sessions, where knowledge and skills are shared. 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?

“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. NSRI’s rescue stations are staffed by over 1350 unpaid volunteers who are on call 24/7, 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 organisation, we are committed to transparency, transformation, diversity, and sustainability in everything we do. 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’s mandate to save lives on South African waters extends to animals as well. A host of turtles, seals, birds, and whales have been assisted in a variety of rescue scenarios. These rescues extend to man’s best friend too, with a number of dogs being saved from drowning. Sea Rescue’s partnership with the South African Whale Disentanglement Network (SAWDN) has resulted in 140 volunteers (from eighteen stations) being trained to perform highly intricate 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. Members of the public are encouraged to call their nearest emergency number for marine animals in distress in link below or the NSRI’s Emergency Operations Centre on 087 094 9774 should they encounter a marine animal in distress”

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, especially those 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 and instruct people about water-safety issues – using colourful teaching materials and a mannequin to demonstrate bystander CPR. The lessons are designed to fit into a normal school schedule, are presented in a fun and interactive way, are age-appropriate and delivered in the native language of the learners. 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 as the 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

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