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Tucked away in a beautiful little cove just past Camps Bay, Cape Town, Station 2 has been operating since 1967.

“Station 2 was originally a shed on the beach,” explains Station Commander Luke Van Riet, “with a very antiquated launching system that took time and placed a lot of physical demands on the crew responding. The boats were small and needed to be manually carried up and down the beach in order to launch. As time went by, the base became more established and better infrastructure was installed.”

After a storm in the early 2000s destroyed the base, it was rebuilt and the improvements that came with it meant a sturdier building and better launching facilities.

Luke joined as an operational crew member 16 years ago, and became station commander in 2020, “steering the metaphorical ship”, as he puts it, together with deputy station commander Dave Rosenberg, who’s been on base for 18 years. The Bakoven crew are 30 strong, with volunteers ranging in age from 17 to 55, and comprising trainees, shore crew, sea crew, coxswains and trainee coxswains.

Both Luke and Dave agree that there is an exceptional sense of community and family at the base. “We are all quite close knit. At our base, if anyone needs help or assistance, the whole station will lend a hand.”

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