In 1991 Captains WR Dernier and NA van Niekerk drafted the First edition of THE SKIPPERS’ GUIDE FOR SMALL VESSEL SEAMANSHIP.
This came about when a number of West Coast fishermen approached Piet van Zyl, the Sanlam representative in Saldanha, to have a guide printed. Piet contacted Willie van der Walt, then head of Sanlam’s CSI department to provide the necessary funding.
Willie showed interest in the project for two reasons. He could see the value of the product, and was at the time also considering ways of supporting the National Sea Rescue Institute.
Commodore Andre Rudman, the CEO of the NSRI at the time, was in agreement, and the printing of the first edition was then authorised. Thereafter, 1 500 copies were produced in English and 1500 in Afrikaans. The idea was that the proceeds of the sale of the guide would go to NSRI.
Since that edition, a further 17 editions (53 560 copies) have been printed, resulting in approximately R2 087 220 raised for Sea Rescue.
Sanlam and its present managing director, Dr Johan van Zyl, continue their support of THE SANLAM SKIPPERS’ GUIDE FOR SMALL VESSEL SEAMANSHIP, and will sponsor 5 000 copies of edition 19 for 2010.
It is believed that each copy will probably be used by more than one person, making the readership three to four times the number of copies sold. Sadly, we are aware that some less-than-honest people have photocopied the guide, therefore depriving our charity of precious funds.
Over the years, there have been a number of changes in the Martime Safety regulations, which have resulted in the expansion of the original 41 page publication to its present 83 pages. While the first issue was also printed in Afrikaans, the Afrikaans version was never reproduced, because of poor sales. The original 1 5000 Afrikaans copies took over four years to sell out.
Sea Rescue thanks Sanlam for this valuable publication and their ongoing support.