Our NSRI volunteer rescue crews around the country remain on high alert to respond to emergencies despite the challenges posed by the lockdown.
Observing Covid-19 Department of Health regulations and protocols a reduced crew attend and conduct routine maintenance and boat checks at our sea rescue stations around the country on a weekly basis to ensure that our sea rescue craft and equipment are in peak and serviceable order and ready to be deployed to emergencies.
Reduced crew launch our rescue craft weekly to conduct necessary routine exercises and boat checks.
Our training department has devised online theory training tasks and physical training tasks that can be done at home in our ongoing efforts to keep our volunteer rescue crews in tip top mental and physical shape for the demands of emergency operations.
NSRI rescue swimmers and NSRI lifeguards in particular have to stay in peak physical shape.
Innovative ways to exercise at home has seen some creative ideas developed.
Our NSRI CEO, Dr Cleeve Robertson, has gone so far as to devise a rope system tied to a tree and tied around the waist to aid resistance training in a home swimming pool that is not large enough for a person to do laps.
NSRI is funded by public donations and sponsorships and our tele-marketing team are working from home continuing in our efforts to raise much needed funds and we commend the public for their support and assistance.
NSRI appeal to the public to have home safety top of mind during the extended lockdown.
On Tuesday, 14th April, NSRI Gordon’s Bay duty crew launched the sea rescue craft Spirit of Surfski following reports of an unknown object floating in the water off-shore of Gordon’s Bay harbour.
A floating drum from a mooring jetty that had broken free at the harbour was recovered and brought to shore.
On Wednesday, 15th April, NSRI Mykonos duty crew launched the sea rescue craft Spirit of Surfski 5 and towed the sea rescue craft Spirit of Round Table East London to Laaiplek following reports from Police of eye-witnesses who sighted 2 red distress flares off-shore of Laaiplek.
An extensive search and investigations revealed no sign of any person in distress or overdue craft and NSRI monitored with Police but there remains no reports of persons missing or craft overdue.
A fishing boat that had taken water was found entering St Helena Bay harbour but they were safe and they had not fired the red distress flares.
On Wednesday, 15th April, NSRI Ballito duty crew and the NSRI Coastwatcher network investigated reports of suspected flares sighted off-shore of Salt Rock, North Coast.
During investigations and based on descriptions received it appears that the sighting may have been Sky Lanterns that were set off from land but the source remains unknown.
There also remains no reports of persons or craft overdue or missing for that area.
NSRI appeal to the public not to set off Sky Lanterns which may be mistaken for red distress flares.
On Thursday, 16th April, NSRI Rocky Bay duty crew investigated reports of a boat suspected to be in difficulty deep-sea off-shore of Umtwalumi.
On investigation it was confirmed that there was only a small fishing craft and a bulk carrier off-shore of Umtwalumi and neither were in any distress and they required no assistance.
No further reports were received of any person or craft missing or overdue and we suspect a false alarm with good intentions.
On Friday, 17th April, NSRI Rocky Bay duty crew were activated to reports of a drowning at Umkomaas.
While the NSRI Ballito duty crew were responding it was confirmed by Police Search and Rescue that they were in attendance and no further assistance was required at a drowning which had occurred earlier in the day up river of the Umkomazi River and Police were in attendance.
On Friday, 17th April, NSRI Hartbeespoort Dam launched the sea rescue craft Rotary Endeavor to assist Police divers in a search for a fisherman missing on the dam.
Police used an underwater scanner to assist in the search and a canoe belonging to the fisherman was located and recovered from underwater but there remains no sign of the missing fisherman and a search is continuing.
On Friday evening, 17th April, NSRI Hout Bay confirmed that a red distress flare sighted in the Hout Bay vicinity had been fired from land for unknown reasons and no response was required.
On Saturday, 18th April, NSRI Rocky Bay duty crew launched the sea rescue craft Megan II following reports of a paddle skier in difficulty off-shore of Croc World, between Scottburgh and Umkomaas.
Police Search and Rescue also responded and it appears that the paddle skier was taken into Police custody after he managed to paddle ashore at Black Rock.