Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) will help save thousands of lives with just over R 3.3 million in critical funding over the next three years for the NSRI’s ‘WaterWise Academy’ water safety programme.
According to the Medical Research Council of South Africa, over the past five years, 3 000 deaths by drowning were recorded. Netcare 911 also revealed that drowning is one of the leading causes of unnatural death among children in South Africa.
It is for this reason; Transnet National Ports Authority – already a platinum partner of Sea Rescue – has decided to take one step further, by funding six of the NSRI’s WaterWise Academy Instructors around South Africa.
NSRI CEO, Ian Wienburg said: “The WaterWise Academy is a world first in that it advocates peer-rescue.
“Whilst there are many good learn to swim projects around the world, the NSRI’s WaterWise project trains our children to be mini-rescuers. We have taken the Sea Rescue syllabus and scoped it down to be age appropriate for children.
“Those most likely to drown, according to the South African Medical Research Council, are children between the ages of 9 and 14 from poor and rural communities. For practical reasons these children often do not swim under adult supervision and are therefore at risk. They need to understand what to do in an emergency, who to call for help, how to rescue their peers and keep them alive by doing basic bystander CPR until an ambulance arrives.”
Core to TNPA’s corporate social investment strategy is education, community investment and advancement. Therefore as part of its social responsibility, TNPA considers the prevention and protection of all South African water users vitally important.
“The NSRI has been providing a vital humanitarian rescue service since 1967 and TNPA has been a key partner in their success.
“This project, which proactively considers safety of water users, takes the relationship to new heights and will no doubt be instrumental in saving lives,” said Tau Morwe, Chief Executive of TNPA.
The NSRI is manned by 980 dedicated volunteers around the country at 32 coastal rescue stations and three inland rescue stations.
“Our biggest asset is human life and it is our families and communities we look to protect the most.
“We believe that by helping organisations such as NSRI to continue to teach water safety and survival skills, all South Africans – especially children from disadvantaged and rural backgrounds – can enjoy the water, safely,” said Morwe.
NSRI urges all adults and children to take the relevant precautions by swimming only at beaches where lifeguards are on duty.
The WaterWise Academy has taught 205 403 children about water safety since 2006. Our Instructors aim to reach over 60 000 children this year.
Pictures for media use are on Sea Rescue’s Flickr page.
About Transnet National Ports Authority:
Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) is one of five operating divisions of Transnet SOC Ltd.
The national ports authority is responsible for the safe, effective and efficient economic functioning
of the national port system, which it manages in a landlord capacity.
It provides port infrastructure and marine services at the eight commercial seaports in South Africa
– Richards Bay, Durban, Saldanha, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, East London, Mossel Bay and
Ngqura in the Eastern Cape. It operates within a legislative and regulatory environment created by
the National Ports Act 2005 (Act No. 12 of 2005). For more information visit