“Spirit of Surfski,” a 5.5 metre Rigid Inflatable Boat ( RIB), was named today at the Strand Lifesaving club in Melkbaai.
This new 5.5 metre Rescue boat, which will be based at Gordons Bay, was donated by Billy Harker’s Discovery Sunglasses Hut Surfski Series.
An innovative idea to raise funds for a new rescue boat began after the epic rescue of Casper Kruger in 2006. Casper had fallen off his surfski during a race and was unable to get back on. A massive search and rescue operation was launched, and it was nearly seven hours later that the completely exhausted and severely hypothermic paddler was found. Just before the sun set Casper was spotted by a 22 squadron SAAF helicopter, with the NSRI Air Sea Rescue crew on board.
At the time Casper was quoted as saying “It was flying only about two ski-lengths above the water, about twelve metres.
“It flew past (me) about 200 metres (away). Then I saw it turn, and I knew I had another chance at life.”
This is a unique sponsorship for Sea Rescue as the money for the boat was raised by the surfski community through NSRI’s monthly giving program where each donor pledges R25 per month by debit order.
The naming of the new boat will start after the last paddler has completed the annual Daniel Conradie Memorial surfski race at the Strand Lifesaving club.
For more pictures see : http://www.flickr.com/photos/searescue/?saved=1