The Umhlanga coastline is characterised by long stretches of sandy beaches that are very popular within and around the area. They are predominantly used by locals as well as holiday makers who come down to the coast. In addition to this there is a large community of paddle skiers and wind surfers that use the area as well.
This is according to Jonathan Kellerman, National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) Station Commander at Durban (Station 05) who states they have been looking at ways of extending NSRI’s coverage for this area as well as improve their response time to call outs in the area. “At the moment since we are based out in Durban during a call out, we essentially need to activate the crew, get down to the Durban base and travel North towards Umhlanga. Which can take up to 40 minutes to an hour to get there,” he states
This is why the NSRI has opted to open an auxiliary base close to the ski boat launch at Granny’s Pool. Amongst other things this base will hasten the response time to Umhlanga, allowing the NSRI to respond directly in the area and help those in distress. The crew now have assets that will enable them to respond directly at McCausland Crescent (where the auxiliary base is located), launch the boat from there and be on the scene as soon as possible. As we all know that in a rescue, time is of the essence.
This new auxiliary base is based at 7 McCausland Crescent, Umhlanga and was officially opened on Sunday, 10th of April 2022. In addition to the opening of the station, their JetRIB “The Victor Daitz” was also officially blessed.
The NSRI was fully welcomed by Lifeguarding community within the area as well as the Umhlanga Ski boat club. “The location of the base has direct access to the beach, and this means we can launch under 20 minutes. Our Durban base will now be able to service the bigger callouts such as large tows, assisting with yachts, medical evacuations,” concludes Kellerman.
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