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087 094 9774

Sea Rescue’s mandate to save lives on South African waters extends to animals as well. A host of turtles, seals, birds and whales have been assisted in a variety of rescue scenarios. These rescues extend to man’s best friend too, with a number of dogs being saved from drowning.

Sea Rescue’s partnership with the South African Whale Disentanglement Network (SAWDN) has resulted in 140 volunteers (from 18 stations) being trained to perform highly intricate disentanglement operations. Volunteer crew respond to around 15 call-outs per year to assist whales.

If you see a whale in distress, please call NSRI’s Emergency Operations Centre on 087 094 9774.

In addition, our association with conservation groups, animal sanctuaries and aquariums around the country has meant we’re able to call on specialists to assist when we encounter turtles and marine birds in distress. We’re always eager to track the progress of the animals rescued, especially the turtles, as they often need lengthy rehabilitation.

Members of the public are encouraged to call their nearest emergency number for marine animals in distress in link below or the NSRI’s Emergency Operations Centre on 087 094 9774 should they encounter a marine animal in distress. We’re there for creatures great and small!

What to do if you find a marine animal in distress

List of organisations to call if a marine animal is in distress

What to do...

Station 8 - Whale Disentanglement Call March 2022

SAWDN in action:

Kelly Ann Irving

“There’s nothing quite as rewarding as setting a whale free.”

Kelly-Ann Irving, NSRI volunteer at Station 26 (Kommetjie)

More rescues

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ANIMAL RESCUE  | Published: 24 February 2022

Unbridled bravery in Port Nolloth rescue

Whenever someone is in distress in or on South African waters, the NSRI will lend a hand – even if the individual in question offers them a hoof in return.

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ANIMAL RESCUE  | Published: 25 October 2021

Caring for marine life in need

Marine Week, which takes place during the second week of October each year, aims to create awareness around the conservation of South Africa’s marine life and coastal environments. What better time than now to acknowledge those who work tirelessly to assist the animals and birds that find themselves in harm’s way.

Stn 34 Whale Disentanglement 5
WHALE RESCUE  | Published: 4 February 2022

2 whales assisted in 2 disentanglement operations in the West Coast

NSRI Yzerfontein launched the sea rescue craft Rescue 34, accompanied by SA Whale Disentanglement Network (SAWDN) volunteers, following eye-witness reports of a whale entangled in fishing rope lines in the vicinity South of Dassen Island on the West Coast.