Coast KZN

16 Dec 2019

NSRI wishes beachgoers and holidaymakers a safe summer

Nothando Mthembu (Southlands Sun)

The NSRI wishes everyone a safe summer holiday and urges the public to adopt a water safety mindset around coastal and inland waters.

“Our rule number one, for a safe experience at the beach, is to choose a beach that has lifeguards on duty and to swim between their flags. If you do that, you don’t need to worry about rip currents, or suddenly getting out of your depth. Putting an arm in the air and waving for help will get a rapid response from the lifeguards on duty,”said NRSI Durban spokesperson, Craig Lambinon.


Unfortunately, for various reasons, people regularly swim where there are no lifeguards on duty. This may be on a beach before or after the lifeguard’s duty for the day or at a beach that does not have lifeguards. This is when things can go wrong. “In a typical scenario, sea rescue gets an emergency call for a swimmer in difficulty and, when we get there, we find two or more people in danger of drowning. Tragically, sometimes we are not able to get there in time and someone drowns. Often the person who does not survive is the kind person who went into the water to try and help a person who was in difficulty,” explained Craig.

Because this happens so frequently, Sea Rescue launched their Pink Rescue Buoy project in November 2017.   These bright Pink Rescue Buoys are hung on strategically placed signs and we hope that they will remind people to take care when entering the water – and not to swim if lifeguards are not on duty at that stretch of the beach.


NSRI Pink Rescue Buoys. PHOTO: NSRI

If there is an incident and someone needs help these buoys can be thrown to the person in trouble in the water, providing them with emergency flotation. There are clear graphics on the sign which explain how to use the Rescue Buoy. And most importantly, the emergency number for the closest Sea Rescue station is printed on the sign. If anyone decides, against advice, to enter the water to try to rescue someone in trouble first call Sea Rescue and then use the Pink Rescue Buoy to provide flotation for that good Samaritan as well as for the casualty.

Have a plan in place in the event of an emergency to prevent panic:

Make sure you have emergency numbers that you may need saved in your cell phone.  Dial 112 from any cell phone in any emergency. Or simply Google Sea Rescue or NSRI for the closest Sea Rescue station’s telephone number.

Check the wind, weather and tides before going to the beach, fishing or boating. Tell someone where you are going and when you are due back, and make sure that they know your route, your intentions and who to call if you are overdue. When climbing on rocks or fishing from rocks – never ever turn your back on the sea and we strongly advise rock anglers to wear a lifejacket and know when spring high tide is.

If you are paddling or if you are on a boat, before you launch, download and always use NSRI’s free SafeTrx app –