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087 094 9774

The NSRI’s Pink Rescue Buoy initiative has been a ground-breaking innovation for Drowning Prevention since 2017, winning the IMRF (International Maritime Rescue Federation) Award for Innovation and Technology in 2018.

Placed strategically on signs at selected inland rivers, dams and at beaches, these bright pink buoys act as a reminder to take care if there are no lifeguards on duty, and that in the event of someone getting into difficulty in the water, they can be used as emergency flotation until help arrives. Their bright pink colour allows them to be easily seen.

Each Pink Rescue Buoy is housed on a sturdy pole with signage showing how they should be used, as well as the NSRI’s emergency number and the buoy’s unique identification number, which helps rescue services to identify the location of the emergency. ID numbers and NSRI's contact telephone numbers are also embossed on the buoys themselves so they can easily be returned to their posts after usage, or if they are lost or stolen.

Watch the video below of how good samaritans battle the elements in race against time to save 2 fishermen with the help of a Pink Rescue Buoy.

In this section

The NSRI has three core Drowning Prevention programmes – Water Safety Education, Pink Rescue Buoys and Survival Swimming – and offers a range of free resources and educational materials.

Pink Rescue Buoy Finder

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Tell us about a place that needs a Pink Rescue Buoy


087 094 9774


Since the project started in November 2017, over 1 500 Pink Rescue Buoys have been installed around South Africa and more than 135 lives have been saved through their use. This would not have been possible without the generous support of donors and sponsors, and buy-in from city councils, municipalities and communities around the country. We urge everyone to please take care of them, and report stolen buoys to us by calling 087 094 9774, or filling out the form below.

Andrew Ingram 2

“Untrained people are going to the aid of someone who is in danger of drowning despite being advised not to. Our Pink Rescue Buoys use simple graphics to explain that it is safer to throw the float to someone and call the emergency number on the sign for help. But if someone does go into the water despite being advised not to, they have a very good chance of survival if they take flotation with them. In the rescues that we have recorded no rescuer was injured and all rescues were successful”

Andrew Ingram, Drowning Prevention Manager

Read more about the Pink Rescue Buoys

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PINK RESCUE BUOY  | Published: 8 January 2024

NSRI Pink Rescue Buoys

The NSRI’s Pink Rescue Buoys are public rescue equipment deployed at selected beaches, rivers and dams around South Africa and have been used to help rescue 177 people that we know of.

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PINK RESCUE BUOY  | Published: 18 December 2023

“It happened so quickly, we weren’t aware of the danger”

When Willemien Fourie and her family stopped at Kabeljous Beach in the Eastern Cape for a stroll, they could not have imagined the ordeal that was about to unfold – a near-fatal encounter with a treacherous rip current. Thanks to the swift response of four Good Samaritans and the NSRI’s Pink Rescue Buoys on hand, however, they survived.

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PINK RESCUE BUOY  | Published: 1 December 2023

The power of preparedness

The NSRI’s highly successful Pink Rescue Buoy programme is in need of custodians to help maintain these life-saving rescue devices. Could you be the next custodian in your area?

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PINK RESCUE BUOY  | Published: 10 August 2023

Search for a missing pink rescue buoy could aid in the search for missing Ryder Kossatz

NSRI is appealing to the public and seafarers along the Atlantic Seaboard, in particular between Camps Bay and Hout Bay, to be the lookout for an NSRI pink rescue buoy that may have washed out along the shoreline or may be adrift at sea.

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PINK RESCUE BUOY  | Published: 30 May 2023

The power of pink

Four recent rescues show that the NSRI’s ground-breaking Pink Rescue Buoy initiative is going full steam ahead.

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PINK RESCUE BUOY  | Published: 20 April 2023

WATCH: Another incredible Pink Rescue Buoy Rescue

Renaldo Arthur was sitting at the benches behind the trees in Kleinmond Harbour. When he heard shouting coming from the Harbour wall +-70m away. Investigating the commotion He noticed 3 people in distress in the water. So he ran over to the Harbour wall to try and help them, injuring his knee in the process.