National Sea Rescue Institute
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|Purpose||Search and rescue|
|Headquarters||1 Glengariff road, Three Anchor Bay, Cape Town|
|Donations, bequests and sponsorships cover the annual running costs. Use of volunteers avoids a salary bill around R0.5m per annum.|
The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) is a voluntary non-profit organization in South Africa tasked with saving lives through drowning prevention. It operates 41 bases (as of 2020) comprising coastal stations and inland stations on dams. There are crews on standby at all hours. There are over 1000 volunteers equipped with sponsored rescue craft, rescue vehicles, quad bikes and tractors, supported by an operations department at the head office.
Following an incident at Stilbaai near Mossel Bay on the south coast of South Africa in 1966, in which 17 fishermen drowned after three fishing boats sank in a storm, Miss Pattie Price of Simon’s Town whose own life had been saved by a RNLI lifeboat in the English Channel, wrote a series of letters to the newspapers to advocate for the formation of a sea rescue organisation in South Africa.
Captain Bob Deacon and Ray Lant were the first volunteers to respond to this call and in 1967 the South African Inshore Rescue Service (SAISRS) was started, with a 4.7m inflatable boat donated by the Society of Master Mariners. The SAISRS was later renamed to National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) and continues the tradition of operation by volunteers.
List of NSRI stations
- Agulhas - Station 30, -34.798567, 20.059433
- Bakoven - Station 2, -33.960583, 18.373033 (Cape Town)
- Ballito - Station 41, -29.437578, 31.222571
- Durban - Station 5, -29.873933, 31.050767
- East London - Station 7, -33.02305, 27.8913
- Gauteng - Station 27, -26.270759, 28.112268 (inland)
- Gordon's Bay - Station 9, -34.16435, 18.859733 (Cape Town)
- Hartebeespoort Dam - Station 25, -25.730167, 27.86045 (inland)
- Hermanus - Station 17, -34.433417, 19.22515
- Hout Bay - Station 8, -34.05025, 18.345333 (Cape Town)
- Jeffrey's Bay - Station 37, -34.048333, 24.923333
- Kleinmond - Station 42, -34.335399, 19.012628
- Knysna - Station 12, -34.076083, 23.060383
- Kommetjie - Station 26, -34.140833, 18.328833 (Cape Town)
- Lambert's Bay - Starion 34, -32.090726, 18.300401
- Melkbosstrand - Station 18, -33.729, 18.4385 (Cape Town)
- Mossel Bay - Station 15, -34.180583, 22.1488
- Mykonos - Station 4, -33.047367, 18.0398
- Oyster Bay - Station 36, -34.169673, 24.653434
- Plettenberg Bay - Station 40, -34.058333, 23.378
- Port Alfred - Station 11, -33.594933, 26.89095
- Port Edward - Station 32, -31.048217, 30.231167
- Port Elizabeth - Station 6, -33.967617, 25.633567
- Port Nolloth - Station 43, -29.238409, 16.928872
- Port St Johns - Station 28, -31.530022, 29.4643592
- Richards Bay - Station 19, -28.791633, 32.08365
- Rocky Bay - Station 39, -30.334283, 30.733833
- Shelly Beach - Station 20, -30.808517, 30.412217
- Simon's Town - Station 10, -34.192283, 18.434367 (Cape Town)
- St Francis Bay - Station 21, -34.184333, 24.8523
- St Lucia - Station 40, -28.372602, 32.414163
- Still Bay - Station 21, -34.385733, 21.423917
- Strandfontein - Station 16, -34.077876, 18.573032 (Cape Town)
- Table Bay - Station 3, -33.909167, 18.423617 (Cape Town)
- Theewaterskloof - Station 38, -34.176, 19.262533 (inland)
- Vaal Dam - Station 22, -26.895867, 28.113433 (inland)
- Wilderness - Station 23, -33.9952, 22.580567
- Witbank Dam - Station 35, -25.9093, 29.308733 (inland)
- Witsand - Station 33, -34.391333, 20.837833
- Yzerfontein - Station 34, -33.346, 18.149833
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (December 2020)
The NSRI has used a wide range of rescue vessels and types of rescue vessel over the years.
- RL 36, 9m deep V, Cold moulded wood:
- Pearl van Riet,Station 9
- Brede class: (RNLI design)
- Spirit of Safmarine. Station 10,
This section needs expansion with: describe the history of the vessel types in use and the characteristics of each type. You can help by adding to it. (January 2021)
Offshore Rescue Craft class
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The first vessel of the offshore rescue craft (ORC) class vessel was procured from a French boatyard in 2019 and stationed at Durban. The vessel has a 14.8m long composite hull with a 4 m beam, and is suitable for search and rescue operations up to 50 nautical miles offshore. The second vessel of the class was finished from an imported set of mouldings and delivered to Station 10 (Simon's Town) from Two Oceans Marine in Cape Town in April 2021. It will be kept ready to launch at a few minutes notice on a cradle in the boathouse.
The rest of the series will be manufactured in Cape Town under license using moulds taken off the second boat's mouldings. The vessel is longitudinally subdivided into forepeak, forward accommodation for survivors, tank space with heads, engine room and steering flat. The superstructure is on the main deck and comprises a watertight wheelhouse, which provides a high centre of buoyancy for self-righting, and has an exterior steering position on the port side. The transom has a ladder for boarding from the water and two small platforms just above the waterline. There is a substantial towing bollard an the quarterdeck and a gap in the stern rail at the top of the ladder which also serves as a fairlead for towing lines. The crew seating includes safety belts and shock absorber mountings to mitigate vertical acceleration shock loads.
A track with sliding cars runs around the wheelhouse just below the handrail, providing secure but mobile harness clip-off points for crew working on or traversing the side decks.
Structure is fibre reinforced plastic composite, partly foam cored and partly solid skin with foam cored frames. Structural glass fibres are used for most of the layup, with carbon fibre stiffening where most effective. High density core material is used in heavily loaded components such as engine beds.
- Survivor capacity: 23 persons.
- Expected lifespan: 40 years.
- Self righting
- Original vessel manufacture: France
- Series manufacturer: Two Oceans Marine (Cape Town)
- Cost per vessel: R20 million
- Series cost: R180 million
- Two turbocharged diesel engines droving two (fixed pitch?) propellers through V-drive gearboxes give a maximum speed of about 29 knots in light loading condition, and about 23 knots cruising speed.
- Length overall 14.8 m
- Beam 4 m
- Draught (loaded)
- Displacement (light)
- Displacement (loaded)
- Engines: 2 x (make and model) diesels producing ??? kW at ????rpm
Names and stations:
- 14-01 Durban
- 14-02, "Donna Nicholas", Station 10, Simon's Town, April 2021
Similar organizations around the world
- Royal Netherlands Sea Rescue Institution
- Royal National Lifeboat Institution (Ireland and the United Kingdom)
- Société Nationale de Sauvetage en Mer (France)
- German Maritime Search and Rescue Service (Germany)
- Norsk Selskab til Skibbrudnes Redning (Norway, also called Redningsselskapet)
- NSRI homepage
- The ASR, one of the 3 helicopter units of the NSRI
- NSRI Station 2 at Bakoven
- NSRI Station 8 at Hout Bay
- NSRI Station 10 Simon's Town
- NSRI Station 12 at Knysna
- NSRI Station 14 at Plettenberg Bay
- NSRI Station 15 at Mossel Bay
- NSRI Station 19 at Richards Bay
- NSRI Station 18 at Melkbosstrand
- South African Search and Rescue Organisation