NSRI Change of plans leads to sea rescue in Jeffreys Bay
Photo Credit: On File

A change of plans for lifeguards in training led to brilliant sea rescue in Jeffreys Bay.


Late on Monday afternoon, 17th September, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) Jeffreys Bay Lifesaving lifeguards were completing a routine training exercise at Pellsrus Beach. The team were meant to train at the Marina but had changed plans last minute to rather be at the beach.

It was then that they noticed a “commotion” on the beach front and went to investigate.

A crowd had gathered and were raising concerns and attempting to encourage a man to safety. While sitting on rocks close to the waters edge a man had entered the surf and he appeared to be out of his depth and in difficulties.

“Myself and NSRI lifeguard Luzuko Mkubeni went into the surf while our NSRI trainee lifeguard, Craig Sampson, ran to the NSRI station to fetch finns and a rescue torpedo buoy and to raise the alarm. We were able to reach the man in the surfline and bring him safely to the shore. By that stage the SA Police Services patrol officers had arrived on the scene as well,” Ettiene van Gent, NSRI Jeffreys Bay station 37 Lifesaving Unit Captain said.

The casualty, a local adult male aged in his mid 20’s, was not injured and was taken into the care of the Police officers. He was also reunited with his family who arrived on the scene.

“It was a coincidence that we where there at that moment having earlier changed plans from training at the Marina to rather training at the beach. We commend the members of the public who raised the alarm on the beach, alerting us to this incident.”

The NSRI is the charity that saves lives on South African waters, through Education, Prevention and Rescue. Donations and sponsorship cover their annual running costs. The rescue crew, the technical experts and the board of Directors are also all unpaid volunteers.

Their rescue bases are run by over 1 000 highly skilled, unpaid volunteers who are on standby day and night throughout the year. The volunteers save them a salary bill in excess of R300m per annum.

“We have rescue bases around the coast and on inland dams, a fleet of rescue boats, rescue vehicles, quad bikes and launching tractors. We also have access to a range of helicopters. We enjoy a good working relationship with other emergency services and we believe that it is through team effort that lives are saved.”

For more information about the NSRI, click here.

Sources: NSRI
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