The NSRI was invited to attend the International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF) Awards as they were nominated for an award for their Pink Buoys.
The NSRI Pink buoys are placed across beaches in South Africa as a way to help prevent drowning. The concept of the buoy is for the public to use the buoy while they wait for a lifeguard or the emergency services.
The NSRI released their pink buoys in 2017 after noticing a similarity in the various scenarios where drownings occured.
‘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. Usually the person who does not survive is the kind person who went into the water to try and help a person in difficulty.’
They then developed the buoy as an emergency system, with clear graphics and an emergency number so that members of the community can safely assist a person struggling in the ocean.
‘If there is an incident and someone needs help these buoys 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 Rescue Buoy provides flotation for that person as well as for the casualty.’
The buoys have been a great success and with vigilant community members, only abouy 10% to 18% have gone missing since their implementation. So far, 15 lives have been saved using the pink buoys.
The NSRI were notifide of their nomination for the 2018 IMRF award for Innovation and Technology in Maritime Search and Rescue in October. They were invited to attend the ceromony in Norway.
Yesterday they shared the exciting news that they had won the award. This is fantastic news as the Pink Buoys are a simplistic solution to a problem in South Africa that can now be adpated around the globe and potentially save thousands of lives.
We are so proud of the National Sea Rescue Institute. They have shone a light on the innovations possible in South Africa and taken them to a global stage.