The NSRI is raising funds to make sure the beaches of Wilderness, Western Cape, have lifeguards present during the busy weekends and holidays.
South Africa (26 February 2021) – The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) is a charity organisation that saves lives on South African waters – both coastal and inland. Their goal is to prevent drowning through rescue operations, education and prevention initiatives.
Not all beaches have the resources to have lifeguards present, but that is slowly changing. The community in Wilderness are being asked to come together to sponsor a lifeguard project. So if you live in the area or are a holidaymaker to the area, you can help out.
The NSRI launched this life-saving initiative that will see lifeguards stationed on beaches over weekends and public holidays for a 10-week period, from 27th February – 2nd May 2021. The focus of their activities will be prevention, anticipating dangers and educating visitors to the dangers that they may face at the water, thus reducing the need for rescue.
The reason for the initiative is that there have been several drownings in the area, and a recent rescue of a local man who was caught in a rip current at The Steps highlights once again the need for lifeguards to patrol Wilderness Beach over the weekends during the summer season.
The stretch from Leentjies Klip to the outlet of the lagoon, Wilderness Main Beach and beyond is notoriously dangerous for swimming, and with the beaches opening again, there has been an influx of visitors, both local and foreign, to these beaches.
Many lives have been saved due to bystander and NSRI rescue response. The NSRI has also deployed several Pink Rescue Buoys along the Wilderness Beach, but more needs to be done to save lives.
“Lifeguards will use Sea Rescue’s custom designed All-Terrain Vehicle to patrol the beach and educate the public. When someone is drowning, every second counts. Having lifeguards on this stretch will undoubtedly reduce response times, and effectively save lives. Signage will also be used to warn people of rip currents at as these develop at different locations throughout the day and to point to safe swimming areas. The community has raised concerns regarding the lack of lifeguards on the beach, and we share their concerns.
The project has benefits for the recipients of our service – the people we educate through beach safety awareness and education, the rescues performed and whose futures we give back when they thought it had gone”. – Garth Dominy, Station 23 Wilderness Station Commander
NSRI is appealing to the community to support this initiative in any way that they can, either by donating or sharing the appeal. Lifeguards in the area are donating a third of their time to make sure the shifts are covered while the wait for funding.
“George Municipality is fully supportive of the community sponsored lifeguard project to have lifesavers on the Wilderness beach. This is a positive step to attract visitors, promote tourism and ensure the safety of beachgoer”, said Dr Gratz, Acting Municipal Manager.
“Anyone can save life, but we need lifeguards to assist us in saving lives on Wilderness beaches, and we need your help to put them there. Should someone wish to sponsor a whole weekend, it will cost just R1350 to place lifeguards on the beach for a day or R2 700 for the weekend.
Donations can support the local economy by encouraging visitors to come and enjoy safe beaches in Wilderness. There are also marketing opportunity for donors through recognition in media and association with NSRI brand or they can qualify for for deductions from taxable income can can attract BEE points under the SED category.”
For more information or to make a donation, please contact Wilderness NSRI Station 23 on 082 990 5955 or send an e-mail to email@example.com.