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NSRI’s Drowning Prevention Department is thrilled to collaborate with two new partners whose aim is to see more Pink Rescue Buoys installed around the country.

South Africa’s fun flip-flop brand Plakkie and world-leading swimwear brand Speedo joined forces with the NSRI towards the end of this year to bring a creative new spin to Black Friday as well as offer ongoing support via fund-raising initiatives in the future.

Saving lives one Pink Rescue Buoy at a time

Since the Pink Rescue Buoy initiative began at the end of 2017, more than 1 100 buoys have been installed around South Africa and 81 lives have been saved through their use. The International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF), as if seeing into the future, had recognised the NSRI’s Pink Rescue Buoy with the IMRF Innovation and Technology Award in 2018, less than a year after the initiative started.

Despite this accolade, the NSRI’s Drowning Prevention team never rests on its laurels: they’re always innovating, finding new and better ways of doing things, producing new education materials, creating industry-specific water safety courses and, of course, joining forces with collaborators to raise awareness and funds through mutually beneficial partnerships.

And so, it was with great pleasure that the NSRI, Plakkie and Speedo embarked on a campaign with the specific aim of raising funds to install more Pink Rescue Buoys on South African beaches and inland dams where traditionally lifeguards are not present. These devices function as flotation, so if someone gets into trouble in the water, a buoy can be thrown to the person in distress to hold onto until help arrives. They are bright pink so they are easily visible to responding rescuers. On the signpost where the buoy is secured, you’ll find the telephone number for the emergency service to call.


Pink is for Buoys

While most retailers were gearing up to save consumers money in the week leading up to Black Friday, Plakkie was gearing up to save lives. To do so, they asked consumers to pay full price for a very specific item. Here’s why. Every cent made from the sale of a ‘Pink is for Buoys’ flip-flop was donated to the NSRI’s Pink Rescue Buoy initiative. Plakkie made no profit on any of these sales.

"We named all our Plakkies after our great South African beaches and in that, we feel we have an amazing opportunity to talk to everyone about them. We use our beaches on a daily basis, but the majority know very little about them. This project was critical for us to educate everyone, not only about the fun side of our beaches but also how to enjoy them safely," says Ross Zondagh, MD of Plakkie.

Along with Plakkie, Speedo also recognises the value of safe peer rescue through the use of strategically placed Pink Rescue Buoys. To raise funds, Speedo designed a limited-edition Pink Rescue Buoy capsule range consisting of a men’s and ladies’ swimsuit, a swim cap and teamster rucksack – a great way to reinforce the partnership between the NSRI and Speedo, and raise awareness of Pink Rescue Buoys. Speedo will donate 25% from the sales of this range to the initiative. Speedo will also donate 15% from the sales of its Essentials range, which is their regular swimsuit collection.

“Speedo SA is proud to be involved with the NSRI's Pink Rescue Buoys Initiative,” says Brad Gale, Speedo SA Brand Manager. “Our combined love for the water and the safety of all in it is what inspired our partnership. Through the Pink is for Buoys campaign, our hope is to inspire South Africans to support this incredible initiative and raise the funds needed for thousands of Pink Buoys to be installed nationally, to ensure safer shores for all.”

Working together in this way will build awareness for the NSRI, Speedo and Plakkie brands and the three companies are equally excited about being able to play an integral part in ongoing drowning prevention initiatives.

For more information, visit and To become a Pink Rescue Buoy volunteer or to contribute to the programme, contact Andrew on

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