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In a recent factory fire in Gqeberha one of the National Sea Rescue Institute’s (NSRI’s) 4m JetRIBs tragically went up in flames. This craft had recently been given to the NSRI’s Gqeberha base (Station 6) and was in for engine maintenance at a factory which burnt to the ground, along with all other boats inside. Thankfully no one was injured in the fire.

The JetRIB – an NSRI innovation, has been a complete game changer for rescues in the surf. It is operated by water-jet propulsion. This water-jet propulsion is more eco-friendly than the traditional outboard petrol engine and, by removing propellers from the water, it eliminates the real danger of a propeller strike to patients and rescue swimmers.

Dr Cleeve Robertson, NSRI CEO, says “We are phasing out our 4.2 metre RIB’s in favour of the JetRIB because of their phenomenal sea-keeping capabilities and its safety characteristics. It is tragic to have lost one.”

Although the JetRIB is insured, the organization does not immediately have a replacement vessel and production time is a few months. We are still able to fulfill our lifesaving duty, however, we will not have all the ideal tools we need.

The Gqeberha region undertakes both inshore and offshore rescues. This year the volunteer rescue crew at Gqeberha have carried out 25 rescue operations, including medical evacuations off ships and responding to drowning in progress emergencies.

“Having lost a vessel sets us back in our plan to roll these craft to every service we have along 3000km of coastline. We are almost entirely reliant on public funding and so we call on any individual or corporate able to assist us support the JetRIB program to donate or get in touch with us through our website –,za.” concludes Dr Roberston

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Contact : Kuhle Mkize

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