The NSRI Pink Rescue Buoy project was announced as winner of the 2018 IMRF award for Innovation and Technology in Maritime Search and Rescue.
Drowning is a great concern in South Africa. The NSRI message to the public is always to “swim only at beaches where Lifeguards are on duty and swim between the flags.”
Unfortunately, for various reasons, people regularly swim where there are no Lifeguards on duty. This is when things can go wrong.
“In a typical scenario, NSRI 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. Usually the person who drowns is the kind person who went into the water to try and help a person in difficulty.
Because this happens so frequently, NSRI launched our 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,” said the NSRI.
If there is an incident and someone needs help, the buoy can be thrown to that person, providing emergency flotation.
There are clear graphics on the sign which explain how to use the 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 the Pink NSRI Rescue Buoy provides flotation for that person as well as for the casualty.
In 12 months, 300 buoys have been installed at drowning hot spots around the country and 15 lives have been saved.