The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) is a non-profit organisation that saves lives on South African waters. Sea Rescue is run by 880 highly skilled volunteers who are on standby day and night throughout the year. Donations and sponsorships cover the annual running cost of R17m. The volunteers save us a salary bill in excess of R185m per annum.
The NSRI has 29 coastal and three inland stations. It has a fleet of 72 rescue craft, 21 vehicles and access to a range of helicopters. NSRI enjoys a good working relationship with other emergency services and believes that it is through team effort that lives are saved.
The NSRI has initiated an education arm called WaterWise, which teaches children what to do in an emergency and gives them the confidence to “breathe for their buddy” while they wait for the ambulance to arrive. WaterWise targets the disadvantaged youth between the ages of nine and 14, because statistically they are the most at risk (South African Medical Research Council, 2006).