Sea Rescue is a volunteer rescue organisation that is on call 24/7. Our mission is to save lives on South African waters. But we’re more than a rescue service. We educate communities and strive to innovate and constantly evolve and extend our water-safety initiatives through empowerment and visibility.
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.
Our people are the foundation of our service, and the cornerstone of our mandate to save lives, change lives and create futures in South Africa.
NSRI’s rescue stations are manned by over 1300 volunteers who are on call 24/7, ready to respond to water-related emergencies. There is a core staff operating from the Head Office in Cape Town, and a number of full and part-time water-safety educators, marketers, lifeguards and call-centre staff working off site.
The NSRI is involved in many life-saving initiatives :-
- rescue operations which include volunteer training
- drowning prevention which includes water safety education and survival swimming training
- animal rescue – birds, turtles, seals, dogs and whales have been assisted in a variety of rescue operations
A wonderfully worthwhile institution, helping so many in need.