Donate Shop Call for Help Now Find a Base


087 094 9774
Our history image with caption
President of the Society of Master Mariners of South Africa Captain John Payne and Miss Patti Price hold certificates presented by then State President Jim Fouche. On the far right is the NSRI’s founding chairman Mr Pat O'Sullivan

The establishment of the NSRI was born from a tragic event that saw Simon’s Town teacher Patti Price begin an impassioned letter-writing campaign to various media stating her case for a sea rescue service.

The tragedy occurred offshore of Stilbaai in 1966. Four fishing vessels went out to sea and only one returned. The devastating loss of life captured Patti Price’s attention. She was no stranger to the terror of being out at sea in distress, having been rescued as a child from a wrecked ship in the English Channel by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

Patti wanted something like the RNLI for South Africa. The pen proved mighty indeed and her efforts were acknowledged by the Society of Master Mariners of South Africa who started the South African In shore Rescue Service (SAISRS) in 1967.

Patti Price has a special place in the hearts of Sea Rescue volunteers, and is recognised as the founder of the NSRI. Station 10’s Simon’s Town base is named in her honour.

In this section

An overview of our organisation, its history and people.

NSRI history highlights


Three fishing boats sink in a storm off Still Bay, resulting in the loss of 17 lives. Simon’s Town school teacher Patti Price champions a sea-rescue service through a letter-writing campaign to the Cape Town newspapers.


A certificate of incorporation is signed by the registrar of companies, recognising the service as a charity, thus allowing the SAISRS to fundraise.


The first edition of Sea Rescue magazine is published.


The NSRI Double Car Competition is launched.


NSRI Monthly Cash Prize Draw is launched.


NSRI’s Water Safety School Education Programme for children is launched.


The Face2Face promotions team begins awareness campaigns and fundraising in shopping centres.


NSRI’s Drowning Prevention Department is launched.


NSRI’s Lifeguard Unit is officially launched.


NSRI’s Survival Swimming programme is launched.

Brian hustler new

“This is a lady (Patti Price, NSRI Founder) we all knew and respected, and to whom the then State President awarded the Certificate of Honorary Life Membership, with the words ‘To initiate is more than to build’.”

Brian Hustler, Honorary Life Governor

How the NSRI started