Gemini Marine came on board as a Strategic Partner in 2020, but the NSRI has enjoyed an exceptional relationship with the company for nearly 40 years.
It all started in 1983 with a collaboration between the NSRI and Gemini Marine during the design phase of the first Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) built by Gemini Marine in South Africa.
“The first 5-metre Waverider was built on the third floor of a building at the top of Hout Street in Cape Town, and lowered with a block and tackle through holes that had to be cut in the timber floors onto a trailer in the street, where the fit out was completed,” says Stuart Mordyk, Corporate Relationship and Retail Manager for the NSRI. “The boat was named Bird of Dawning and went into service at Station 3, which at that time was a garage on the beach at Three Anchor Bay.”
Gemini Marine has been the NSRI’s preferred partner in the manufacture and supply of its RIB fleet since 1984. The company also donated a 6.5m rescue RIB named Gemini Legend to the NSRI in 2020, which is based at NSRI Station 2 (Bakoven).
“Over time, Gemini has evolved from being just a supplier to becoming an integral cog in the rescue process, by developing rescue-specific RIBs,” Stuart says. “The RIBs continue to evolve in order to take advantage of advancements in boat-building technology and developing marine outboard motor power delivery. In addition, as we train harder and get better, we place increased pressure on the rescue vessel to perform in a wider range of conditions in an ever-changing rescue environment. The success of this endeavour lies in close and constant collaboration.”
According to Gemini Marine CEO Gerhard Neethling, working with the NSRI is an honour. “The NSRI is such a trusted and respected brand,” he says. “For us, having the men and women of the NSRI use, test and give us feedback on our boats is the best research and development information we could ask for. We use this to try and improve and build better boats for all our valued customers worldwide.
“We look forward to working together collaboratively for many years to come by developing and continuously improving our product offering so that the team at Gemini can play a small part in saving lives on South African waters.”
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