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The NSRI provides an essential rescue service to water users who find themselves in difficulty on South African coastal and inland waters. Manned entirely by volunteer crew we are the only nation-wide service of its kind, operating 24/7 and 365 days of the year.


Operations in 2022


Persons rescued in 2022

66 943

Training hours in 2022


Medical evacuations 2022


Event incidents in 2022


Call only incidents in 2022


Why rescue matters

South Africa has a vast array of water users who, for us, are people first. Each life lost means a family and a community in distress. By saving lives, we change lives and create futures.

Why it works

Sea Rescue volunteers are on call 24/7. Our 42 (and growing) bases cover 3 000km of coastline and five inland dams in eight of the nine provinces. We are equipped with surf, inshore and offshore rescue craft and will respond to individuals in distress, and emergencies involving the maritime industry and ocean sports sector.
Through volunteer dedication and manhours spent training in a multitude of rescue scenarios, countless lives have been saved on South African waters.

Rescue 2 Option

How you can help

Everyone has a part to play in keeping communities safe. You can support our endeavours to save lives on South African waters by:

Joining our Lifeguard Unit, which educates beach goers and other water users to be safe around water, and assists during emergencies in the surf. Volunteer to provide duty standby at beaches and water bodies around the country
Becoming a Rescue Volunteer , either as rescue crew or shore-going crew at one of our coastal or inland stations
Joining our community of coastwatchers, who keep an eye on our shores and report emergencies when they occur

As a not-for-profit organisation, we rely on donations, however minimal, to support our water-safety and rescue efforts

Read more about NSRI Rescues

Rescue 17 1
MEDIA RELEASE  | Published: 3 December 2021

The NSRI Launches its first ever Offshore Search and Rescue Boat built entirely in SA

The first Offshore Rescue Craft built entirely in South Africa, by South Africans

RESCUES  | Published: 30 November 2021

Ladies take the lead

Swift delegation and teamwork ensured a young family was rescued quickly after their boat capsized near a rocky outcrop near Melkbosstrand.

1 Coastwatch
VOLUNTEERS  | Published: 21 December 2021

The real bay watchers

David Nurick and the West Coast coastwatchers are ready to take on the festive season.

1 Seals
ANIMAL RESCUE  | Published: 21 December 2021

Managing seal rescues on the east coast

In recent months, Station 37 (Jeffreys Bay) has been involved in a larger than normal number of seal rescues. We find out how volunteers manage the rescues, ask the experts why strandings occur, and advise members of the public what they can do to help.

VOLUNTEERS  | Published: 25 October 2021

Meet Station 10's ‘eyes-on-the-ground’

In addition to the front-of-house members at each station, another pivotal component of the NSRI team is the coastwatchers.

VOLUNTEERS  | Published: 28 September 2021

Coxswain training: Just do it!

When out on a rescue, a coxswain needs to be able to lead their crew seamlessly and without hesitation.