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The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) is the charity that saves lives on South African waters. Our goal is to prevent drowning through rescue operations, education and prevention initiatives. NSRI is not a law enforcement agency.Our organisation is totally reliant on donations and sponsorships. This enables us to do the work of saving lives, changing lives and creating futures.While lockdown restrictions remain in place and beaches and inland waterways are not officially opened NSRI are nonetheless appealing to the public to exercise caution and to adopt a safety conscious mindset around the coastline and on inland waterways as lockdown restrictions may gradually begin to ease.When families can return to the beach and to our inland water ways we urge parents to ensure that their children are supervised by responsible adults while they are swimming at beaches, inland waters and at home swimming pools and the supervisor should not be distracted from the task.Don’t swim, go paddle boarding, sail boarding or boating under the influence of alcohol.Paddlers and sailboarders are also urged to be cautious and to take into consideration fitness levels and competency levels that may have been reduced during lockdown restrictions and that may need some work before tackling any challenging conditions.At this time of the year normally some Provinces have lifeguards physically on duty at certain beaches and some Provinces do not. Provinces where lifeguards do patrol beaches NSRI are informed that lifeguards will return to duty when lockdown restrictions are lifted or eased.Where and when lifeguards do return to patrolling beaches we appeal to the public to make use of those lifeguard protected beaches and where there are no lifeguards on duty extra care should be taken by bathers.NSRI appeal to the public to maintain social distancing, wearing of masks and hand sanitising.We appeal to anglers fishing along the shoreline to keep a safe distance away from danger, never turn your back to the sea and be aware of high tides, low tides and Spring tides.NSRI are appealing to boaters to ensure their boat engines are serviced and in good working order and boaters and paddlers must wear life-jackets while on the water.Check that your safety equipment – red distress flares, a referee whistle, highly visible clothing, fully charged cellphones and portable marine radio’s and capsize kits are all in tip top shape and ready to be used in an emergency.Have an emergency plan in place before launching.Let a responsible person know your departure time, route and return time - check in with that responsible person on your safe return.Before launching to go to sea it is critical to your safety to download to your cell phone and make use of the NSRI RSA SafeTrx free cell phone app. NSRI Emergency Operations Centre and Maritime authorities monitor NSRI RSA SafeTrx.Our NSRI stations around the country and supporting water rescue agencies and the emergency services continue to remain on alert to respond to water related emergencies and we appeal to bathers, boaters, paddlers and sailboarders to have NSRI emergency numbers programmed in their phones.The NSRI emergency number is 0870949774 or call 112.We are now experiencing a full moon Spring tide which brings the usual higher than normal Spring high tides and lower than normal Spring low tides lasting into next week and extra caution is advised.
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