Marine Safety is gearing up for a busy 2019 and looks forward to a safe and enjoyable year for everyone enjoying our amazing South African weather on the water. Be safe out there folks.
The NSRI’s Pink Rescue Buoys won the 2018 IMRF (International Maritime Rescue Federation) award for Innovation and Technology at a prestigious gala dinner in Norway last night, Thursday, 08th November.
NSRI head of Drowning Prevention, Andrew Ingram was present at the awards ceremony as a guest of IMRF to receive the award. Today he is invited to present the South African born campaign to the IMRF Europe’s annual meeting.
Journalist and author Gordon Drydon once said “An idea is a new combination of old elements.” The Pink Rescue Buoy project is exactly that. There is a clear pattern where people are drowning because of a lack of flotation. The typical scenario is that someone is in difficulty in the water and a well meaning bystander goes in to help. Tragically the “helper” is usually the person who may be most likely to drown.
Flotation on beaches were a common site where Life Rings were placed at the waters edge at beaches, swimming pools and canals. But this practice died out.
Concerned about the rate of drowning, NSRI – a search and rescue organisation, stepped forward to initiate a series of preventative campaigns. This new unit is headed by Andrew Ingram.
Rescues world wide use torpedo buoy flotation, these buoys are affordable and effective. The idea was to then make these available as public rescue devises.
Theft was raised as the biggest challenge when presenting the idea. The concept of a unique colour coupled with the need for them to be highly visible in the surf resulted in the signature luminous pink.
Known drowning hot spots were identified, sponsors were found and a pilot project was launched.
12 months later we have 300 installations around the country, and while theft has hovered between 8 and 18%, most importantly 15 lives have been saved.
The next step is to make this pervasive across all beaches and beside all water bodies. Through partnerships and community buy-in this is possible.
“It is a great honour for our team which has worked on the Pink Rescue Buoy project over the past year to be recognised by the IMRF, said Andrew Ingram, Head of NSRI Drowning Prevention. The spotlight is now firmly on Public Rescue Devices, and effective rip current education. We hope that this combination will help to reduce rip current and failed peer rescue drownings around the globe”, said Ingram.
SIDE NOTE: In an effort to support this worthwhile program, Marine Safety recently donated funds to NSRI to install 3 Pink Buoys in the Southern Cape region.
Darren Zimmerman, NSRI Simons Town station commander, said:
At 17h30, Tuesday, 23rd October, NSRI Simon’s Town duty crew were activated following a request for assistance from the 19 meter local fishing vessel reporting a crewman onboard suffering a medical emergency.
At that stage they were some 90 nautical miles from Simon’s Town at fishing grounds and MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) arranged a Government Health EMS duty doctor to evaluate the patient and it was deemed necessary to evacuate the patient to hospital as soon as possible.
The fishing vessel started to head towards Cape Point at best speed of 7 knots.
Telkom Maritime Radio Services assisted with long range VHF communications.
The NSRI Simon’s Town sea rescue craft Spirit of Safmarine III was launched accompanied by CMR (Cape Medical Response) paramedics and NSRI Hermanus were placed on alert.
We rendezvoused with the casualty vessel at 22h45, 55 nautical miles South East of Cape Point.
The patient, in a serious condition, was transferred onto our sea rescue craft and in the care of the paramedics transported to our sea rescue base in Simon’s Town.
A CMR ambulance has transported the patient to hospital in a serious but stable condition.
The operation concluded at 04h00.
After much anticipation the new boat has arrived and has been named Vigilance.
The new boat is a 8.8m Gemini RIB with twin Yamaha 150s, and is fitted with the latest navigation and communications electronics. The boat is fully customized for safety services, expeditions and diving, with extended range, additional storage capacity, specialized safety equipment exceeding the standard SAMSA requirements.