As a true lover of the sea and an avid surfer, I am very aware of the power that our waters have. While I haven't been a victim, I do appreciate the likes of the NSRI and the people that put their lives on the line every time they go out into the cold and relentless sea.
A fellow lover of the ocean and good friend suggested I offer my services to the NSRI one month. To be honest I thought them to big, out of my league. I have a huge respect for the NSRI and felt like a little girl asking an adult if you can help them. But when I got into contact with Megan, I realized that every volunteer organisation need all the help they can get and was too grateful to see the enthusiasm of both the board of directors and the staff.
The NSRI was founded back in 1967, albeit under the name South African In shore Rescue Service (SAISRS). In short, due to a tragic event that took place in the English channel, one of the survivors, saved by the RNLI, approached the local newspaper in Cape Town, her hometown, to open up a similar sea life saving organisation.
After many letters, it was approved and the SAISRS was formed which later became the NSRI.
Since then a fully volunteered charity has journeyed the seas and saved many lives along the way. There are currently just over 1000 volunteers across 41 bases, 22 of these in the Western Cape. With no payment and just a love and respect of the sea, these volunteers "prevent drowning through education, through preventative measures and through rescue."
They visit schools around the country teaching young children how to be safe in the water, what to do should an emergency arise and how to perform bystander CPR.
Facilities and Infrastructure
Because they are 100% volunteer reliant as well as contribution-driven, they are always looking for funding to make sure their facilities and infrastructures are up to scratch and ready to save lives.
Currently, they are looking to upgrade their buildings to safeguard their vessels and equipment. Also to remain at the forefront of technology and safety, they continuously expand their equipment, from personal protective equipment, communication equipment and other items needed.
The NSRI has partnerships with Mitsubishi for their vehicles and with Gemini for their vessels. Ongoing research and development happens to ensure that they can provide the best service to the public.
I love that they strive to be better than they were yesterday - here are the NSRI's values:
Altruism - We love the sea and combine this love with our commitment to help others.
Family - We have strong family values as individuals, as stations and as an organisation.
Caring - We care about people. The medical care that we provide extends this value to the people we rescue.
Pride - We are a proud organisation. Proud of the service we deliver, proud of each other and proud to be South African.
Accountability - We are accountable to the people who we serve, for the service that we deliver and to each other for support.
Safety - We value the safety of our crews and that of our patients above everything. And we don’t compromise in ensuring their well-being at sea.I salute the NSRI and while I hope that I will never have to call on their services, I am thankful that they exist, and that I can contribute to their longevity by donation.
If you too would like to either contribute or volunteer, here are their details.