Life Health Solutions was recently named an official platinum sponsor of the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI). This invaluable NPO’s dedication to saving lives through drowning prevention reflects our own commitment to compassion, excellence and a spirit of giving to those in our care.
The NSRI was first established following a tragic event off the coast of Stilbaai in 1966, when three of the four fishing vessels that had set out to sea one day did not return. Patti Price, a teacher in Simon’s Town, began an impassioned letter-writing campaign to advocate for the establishment of a sea-rescue service that could prevent such devastating loss of life in the future. Years prior, Price herself had been rescued from a wrecked ship in the English Channel by the UK’s Royal National Lifeboat Institute. Her advocacy efforts were rewarded in 1967, when the Society of Master Mariners of South Africa launched the South African In Shore Rescue Service (SAISRS), an early iteration of the current operation. The NSRI’s Station 10 Simon’s Town base is named in Patti Price’s honour.
Today, the NSRI is geared to respond to water-related emergencies 24/7, often supported by Life Healthcare response paramedics. It operates dozens of rescue bases across the country and provides lifeguards at 21 beaches.
‘Sea Rescue currently has 44 bases (with more to come) around South Africa’s 3 000km coastline, including five inland dams,” says Brett Ayres, the NSRI’s Director of Rescue Services. “It’s our business to save lives in South African waters. To do so, we equip our volunteer crew with the safest vessels and most up-to-date equipment.”
In addition to 100 rescue watercraft, this includes 12 quad bikes, 32 rescue vehicles, 14 tractors and 20 JetRIBs for surf rescues. Of course, all this equipment – and the technology required to run each base – comes at a price. The NSRI relies on sponsors such as Life Healthcare to provide funding for essential, life-saving equipment so their crews of volunteers can conduct their work safely and effectively.
Life Health Solutions is proud to support the efforts of the incredible staff who work tirelessly to preserve lives and promote a respect for open water. As part of our Employee Wellness Programme offered to the NSRI’s trauma contact centre staff, we provide counselling services and mental-health support that equip them to carry out their demanding duties.
If you’d like to know more about the NSRI, or to join platinum sponsor Life Health Solutions in supporting this outstanding organisation as a donor or volunteer, please visit www.nsri.org.za.