Good Samaritans and The Pink Buoy Project Save 99th South African!
Photo Cred: NSRI

Since launching the pink buoy project in 2017, good samaritans have used them to save 99 South Africans from drowning.


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Western Cape, South Africa (07 February 2022) – Thanks to quick thinking and a “pink buoy”, another South African life was saved on Friday!

A group of cold water swimmers, including Sarah Oberholzer and Jonathan Smuts, were about 75 meters off 4th Beach when Sarah noticed that one of the group, a young man who had recently moved to Cape Town from Pretoria was unresponsive. She asked him if he was ok and got no answer … although he was still swimming. She realised that he needed help.

She waved and shouted, which prompted Struan Jamieson and Jason Fialkov, who were on the beach to swim out to help her and Jonathan.

Having two weeks previously rescued a woman who was washed out of the #SaundersRocks tidal pool and really struggled with that rescue as he did not have any flotation, Struan decided first to run up the beach and fetch the “Pink Buoy”, which he knew would help him and the man in difficulty.

Struan and Jason swam out through big surf with the Pink Buoy, which the hypothermic young man gratefully took hold of.

“The conditions were hectic, and there was a strong rip,” said Jason, who in his youth was a Clifton Lifeguard.

“We had to fight the #ripcurrent, which was pulling us towards the rocks, and he was so heavy,” agreed Struan.

The four rescuers managed to get the young man safely onto the beach and tried to warm him up, knowing that an ambulance was on the way.

The young man was taken to hospital and kept overnight with non-fatal drowning symptoms. He was released today (Saturday, 5 February) and is absolutely fine after his ordeal.

This is the 99th successful rescue in which a Pink Rescue Buoy has been used to save a life. All rescues that have been attempted with a Pink Rescue Buoy have been successful, and no harm has come to any rescuers.

The NSRI Pink Buoys

The NSRI Pink buoys are placed across beaches in South Africa to help prevent drowning. The buoy concept is for the public to use it while they wait for a lifeguard or emergency services.

The NSRI released their pink buoys in 2017 after noticing a similarity in the various scenarios where drownings occurred.

“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 community members 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.”

Sources: NSRI 
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Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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