It takes a special kind of person to not only give up their time, but to also risk their life for another. The following message from Ian Wienburg, CEO of Sea Rescue [NSRI] sums up what Sea Rescue is all about.

“Anyone who volunteers is a special kind of person. To offer up your free time to help people or animals in need is a selfless act.

At NSRI, our volunteers take it one step further. They do not sign up for ‘two hours on a Thursday’ – they commit to NSRI and agree to make themselves available to go at any time, any place, any how. They prioritise the needs of a stranger – so they will leave a business meeting or their brother’s wedding or their daughter’s first ballet show. Not only this – but in addition, they agree to risk their lives. They will head to sea in the worst conditions – when everyone else is heading for home and battening down the hatches.”

The NSRI on duty at the Steers Marina Mile. Photo: RRAD

Sea Rescue is run by 980 unpaid volunteers, with even the Board of Directors being volunteers. Sea Rescue currently have 32 coastal and 3 inland rescue bases, with Jeffreys Bay [Station 37] being the newest Base in the Country!

The 2012 training program for Jeffreys Bay will commence shortly and should you be interested in getting involved with this exciting Organization, read on.

There are various way to Volunteer your time for Sea Rescue, with the first being Sea Going Crew. It is always beneficial, but not required for new Sea Going Recruits to have a background in the marine environment & be familiar with the sea, radio operation, navigation and first aid, but if you are fit, healthy & eager to learn more, we can put you to good use.

The second area of involvement is Shore Crew, who assist with the Administration of the Base, as well as act as a Controller for Training Exercises & Rescue Operations. This is best suited for people who want get involved, but prefer to stay on dry land!

The NSRI is based on Main Beach. Photo: RRAD

The third area is Coast-watchers, best suited to retired folk who have a good view of the ocean from their homes. Coast-watchers are a vital part of the Team, as they act as “spotters”.

All training sessions take place after hours, in the evening and on weekends. Standby for rescues is a 24/7/365 commitment, and best suited to people who live 10 minutes from the rescue base.

Volunteering is not glamorous work, but very rewarding. There is a lot of training and a whole lot of cleaning up involved. It will be at least six months to a year, before you will be ready for a real-life rescue. Crew Members and Trainees are also required to assist with fundraising. It may seem a mindless task, but a street collection can raise around R10,000 for one morning’s work. If you are humble enough to join us and shake a tin, we would love to have you.

As nice as it would be to be part of a rescue crew for a few hours a week or a few weeks of the year it is simply not possible. If someone applies to be a NSRI volunteer, natural ability is important, but long-term commitment even more so.

If you are interested in becoming a part of the Sea Rescue Family in Jeffreys Bay, please contact Rieghard Van Rensburg [Station Commander] on 071 896 6831.

Please remember to save the Sea Rescue Jeffreys Bay 24/7/365 Emergency Number on your cell phone – 079 916 0390!

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