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The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) has installed two Pink Rescue Buoys off Kleinbaai in response to the tragic drowning incident that occurred on Tuesday, the 14th of May, at Kids Rock.

The incident claimed the lives of two men and their three Dachshund dogs.

Located approximately 200 meters offshore of Kleinbaai, Bloubergstrand, the NSRI volunteers have strategically placed this public rescue equipment on Kids Rock in loving memory of Pierre Lotter, Willem Pretorius, and their three Dachshunds, Ranger, Skyle, and Zia.

The initiative aims to raise awareness about the dangers of going out to these rocks and provide emergency assistance for those in danger of drowning when trying to get back to the shore.

We encourage anyone on Kids Rock who finds themselves cut off from the mainland during the rising tide to call the NSRI emergency operations centre at 0870949774 before trying to swim across to the mainland.

Anyone around the coastline who finds themselves in a similar situation should call NSRI for assistance immediately.

NSRI Melkbosstrand Station Commander Hein Köhne said, "These tragic drownings have had a profound impact on our NSRI crew and the family and friends of Pierre and Willem.”

"We trust that by putting Pink Buoys up at Kids Rock, we will remind people of the danger of going out to these rocks and provide emergency aid if someone is caught there in the future," said Köhne.

Pierre Lotter and Willem Pretorius
Pierre Lotter and Willem Pretorius drowned at Kids Rock in May

Köhne added, "We worked with the City of Cape Town officials from Coastal and Environmental Management to make sure that the Pink Buoys would not be an eyesore or impact the view by breaking the horizon line, but at the same time, be easily seen and accessible to people who may get trapped on these rocks."

Brett Ayres, Operations Director at NSRI, commented on the initiative. He said, "Since the NSRI Pink Rescue Buoy project started in 2017, these Pink Rescue Buoys have been used to help rescue 183 people around the South African coastline.

"We are sure that with the growing number of Pink Buoy custodians, they will be used to help many more people who are in danger of drowning," said Ayres.

Ayres took this opportunity to encourage anglers to prioritise their safety by wearing a life jacket or personal flotation device when angling from a rocky shoreline or cliffs. He emphasised, "Anglers should also be aware of high and low tides and pay attention to tide levels and the two monthly Spring tides at full moon and at new moon. Always ensure that someone knows where you are and when you will return. They should have the NSRI emergency number, 0870949774, saved to their cell phone."

The NSRI extends its gratitude to Etienne Bulcke of O’Tool Melkbosstrand for lending a battery-operated drill and sponsoring the stainless steel rod and chemical anchor required to install the pink rescue buoys at Kids Rock. Their contribution has been instrumental in making this project a reality.

The NSRI remains committed to ensuring the safety of all individuals enjoying our beautiful coastal areas. By working together and always prioritising safety, we can prevent future tragedies and create a safer environment for everyone.

Photographs of the Pink Buoys on Kids Rock are available on the National Sea Rescue Institute Flickr page.

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