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It’s not just a pretty colour…

The NSRI’s Pink Rescue Buoys will be saving lives this holiday season – with your help. As summer kicks into full swing, thousands of holidaymakers will soon be hotfooting it to beaches and dams across the country to soak up some sun, fish, swim, surf, snorkel, kayak and water-ski. Sadly, few of them are likely to be international tourists this year, but we South Africans have always been avid domestic travellers, and will surely be wanting to wash away the travails of 2020 with some serious R&R. Naturally, the NSRI is on hand to provide lifesaving preventative and emergency services at many of South Africa’s favourite beaches and dams; however, they still needs our help to keep the hundreds of preventable drownings each year to a minimum. How? Simple:think pink. No, not ‘pink’ from sunburn (remember to apply broad spectrum SPF 50+!) – rather, the Pink Rescue Buoys that have been deployed to strategic locations nationwide.

Pink is for buoys

This critical initiative from the NSRI was launched in 2017 and to date has saved at least 75 lives. One of the most recent examples happened on 25 August in Herold’s Bay, Western Cape, when local volunteer lifeguard Tristan de Swart rescued a teenager who had been struggling against a riptide. Tristan spotted that the teen was in trouble, but needed to collect his flippers from his car before he could execute the rescue. In the meantime, a bystander collected the NSRI Pink Rescue Buoy nearby and threw it to the teen, helping the tiring swimmer to stay afloat until Tristan could get to him. If not for the pink buoy and the bystander’s quick wits, there’s a good chance the swimmer may have drowned due to exhaustion. The message is simple: If you ever see someone in danger of drowning, think “pink is for buoys”.

Find the Pink Rescue Buoy nearby (it’s bright, it’s pink; you can’t miss it), and throw it into the water to help the person to float, to save a life. Unless you are a qualified lifesaver, don’t jump in to help save someone who is in difficulty. Rather, give them the buoy and then call 112 – the NSRI national rescue number – from your cellphone.

Stolen buoy, stolen life

The rescue buoys are eye-catching and fun-looking, and easily removed from their poles – making them a target of theft. By stealing a pink rescue buoy, though, a vital safety device is being removed that could cost someone their life. The NSRI knows that the success of the pink buoys depends on local communities, and conducts education initiatives around the importance of the buoys and water safety. In some areas, Pink Rescue Buoys which were thought to have been stolen have been returned to their poles within days of the community leadership telling people that they must not take these emergency floats. As the Pink Rescue Buoy sign says – ‘Please return me so that we can save another life’.

Want to sponsor a Pink Rescue Buoy for R1 500?

Or volunteer and assist the NSRI in protecting and maintaining the buoys?

Simply send an email to

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