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We’re challenging you to participate and possibly raise funds for your local NSRI station with a winter solstice swim!

Shorter days and a crisp chill in the air remind us that the winter solstice is only a few weeks away. At 22h50 on the 20th of June to be precise, and what better way to honour this celestial event – and the ‘return of the light’ in the form of longer days – than with an icy dip in the sea, a tidal pool, a swimming pool, your local dam, or you even an ice bucket challenge…? This tradition is observed all over the Southern Hemisphere when brave souls strip down and prepare themselves for an exhilarating test of endurance by immersing themselves in icy water – and don’t forget all those cold water health benefits.

(Before you go in, spend some time thinking about your safety. Never swim alone. If the sea is rough don’t go in! Have an emergency floatation device with you and know who to call in an emergency*.)

NSRI volunteers and fundraisers have a proud tradition of cold water swims. Be inspired by NSRI volunteer Stephen Hunt, who raised R20 000 for charity in February by swimming around Robben Island, or NSRI volunteer Jané Botha, who raised a staggering R47 500 in October last year – amidst downpours and strong winds – by swimming 73 775 meters in 24 hours!

This year, the NSRI would like to challenge you to organise a winter solstice swim on or around the 20th or 21st of June, to raise funds for your local NSRI station. Even a small contribution goes a long way towards ensuring the NSRI has the resources to conduct rescue operations and save lives in South African waters.

In addition to raising vital funds, a solstice swim embraces the NSRI’s spirit of camaraderie and fearlessness in the face of challenging conditions. These qualities are essential for the rescuers who risk their lives to brave harsh storms, rough seas and freezing temperatures to rescue those needing help.

Simply set a date for your swim, create a campaign page on Given Gain, and get as many of your friends, family and colleagues as possible to participate and/or donate. It’s that simple!

If you’d like to learn more about your local NSRI station, look at the NSRI Base Finder and click on the base closest to you.

Did you know?

Cold water swimming may help to…

• Strengthen your immune system

• Boost your mood by activating endorphins

• Reduce stress

• Improve circulation and blood flow

For more information on how to organise donations to the NSRI for your Solstice Swim visit our fundraising page or contact Renée on 021 434 4011 or

*In an emergency call: NSRI Emergency Operations Centre 087 094 9774 or 112

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