“I had a successful 30-year surfing career, and joining the NSRI was the ideal way to still be involved with the sea, give back and share my knowledge of the ocean,” says Station 6 Station Commander Justin Erasmus. And give back, he has, having been a volunteer for 22 years, and Station Commander for four, overseeing rescues from Bird Island in the East to Gamtoos river mouth in the West, overlapping with support to and from neighbouring stations on either side.
The station operates on a rotational four-crew system and has between 40 to 60 crew and trainees at any time. “The station works very well together as one team when the need arises,” says Justin. “A large percentage of our rescues are medevacs: transporting injured or sick sailors off passing vessels. Other emergencies include overturned fishing boats, yachts, drownings, missing divers, kite surfers in trouble, and so on.”
Station 6 was established in 1969, and in 2015 underwent renovations sponsored by the Rabie Family Trust, and has hence forth been known as the Archie & Alta Rabie Rescue Base.
“We are about to do another modification to house the new 140 ORC vessel, which we hope to receive by April 2023,” says Justin.