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NSRI EMERGENCY
OPERATION CENTRE (EOC)

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Sea Rescue’s drowning-prevention initiatives would not be possible without the generous support of donors and sponsors, and the commitment of our educators and the communities that welcome them.

To this end, we would like to thank Hillside Aluminium/South32 for their sponsorship of Pink Rescue Buoys and extending our water-safety education capacity in the Richards Bay area. These partnerships are invaluable! At the beginning of 2020, Hillside Aluminium/South32 generously sponsored 40 Pink Rescue Buoys for Richards Bay and surrounds. These buoys have been erected in strategic areas, both coastal and at inland bodies of water, for people to use when bathers get into difficulty.

Because the buoys are an essential public service item, Sea Rescue urges all users to:

  • return the buoys to their signposts after usage
  • call the numbers on the signposts in a drowning emergency
  • use the location number on the signpost to save time when calling in an emergency

In addition to the rescue buoys, Hillside Aluminium/South32’s sponsorship included the funding of two new water safety instructors in the Richards Bay area. Mncedisi Hlalatu and Phelelani Nene began their work in educating learners in the greater Richards Bay area about being safe in and around water in early February. The programme which was temporarily put on hold due to the Covid-19 crisis, includes peer rescue, dangerous currents, planning for water safety and hands-on CPR.

These are all essential skills in reducing the high number of fatal drownings each year. Instructor Phelenani Nene, a marine engineer, is based at Unizulu Science Centre in Alton in Richards Bay, where all learners who visit the centre receive a free age-appropriate water safety lesson as part of their visit. While schools are reluctant to let pupils go on excursions, some adapting has had to be done, and Phelenani now goes to the schools to give the water-safety classes.

Instructor Mncedisi Hlalatu, a volunteer at Station 19 (Richards Bay) and sailing instructor, concentrates on teaching at schools in the greater King Cetshwayo area where there are approximately 40 fatal drownings each year. Mncendisi is happy to be back in the classroom doing what he loves most, while observing strict Covid-19 protocols.Calvin Mkhabela, Vice President of Operations at Hillside Aluminium, says, “The safety and security of communities is important to us. This initiative will go a long way in protecting beachgoers, especially children, who may find themselves in an emergency.”Our grateful thanks to Hillside Alumimium/South32 for their generous sponsorship.

The cost of the Pink Rescue Buoy and the sign is R1 500 and can be purchased here. For more information on this project, you are welcome to contact us on pinkrescuebuoys@searescue.org.za

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