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67 ways to help this Mandela Day: The NSRI needs your help to keep saving lives

Siyabonga Mthtthwa of NSRI Station 05 in Durban. Picture: Supplied

Siyabonga Mthtthwa of NSRI Station 05 in Durban. Picture: Supplied

Published Jul 16, 2020


The National Sea Rescue Institute’s (NSRI) volunteers live Madiba’s principles every minute of every day in service of South African communities, saving lives on South African waters. 

“No one understands the value of a minute like an NSRI volunteer, when one minute can mean the difference between life or death,” says Dr Cleeve Robertson, NSRI CEO. “At the NSRI, our volunteers know fully well the importance of every single minute in the lifesaving work that we do.”

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“The minutes matter. For example, all rescue volunteers are required to live within a couple of minutes of their responding stations to ensure that we respond to callouts as quickly as possible. When the rescue operation starts, every minute of training comes to the fore – that ensures that we get to the casualty or vessel as quickly as possible.

This year alone, NSRI volunteers have devoted hundreds of thousands of minutes of their time to save lives across South African coastal and inland waters - and will again be on volunteer duty this weekend and on Mandela Day.

Always on duty to serve, save and protect, the NSRI for the first half of 2020 (January to June 2020), has already recorded a total of 58,420 operational minutes in active rescues (the time spent from the moment a rescue craft is launched until it returns to base). This equates to 554 rescue callouts in the last 6 months (an average of 90 rescue operations each month).

Volunteers complete hundreds of thousands of minutes in theory training, attending courses and doing online training – to perfect their level of professionalism and state of preparedness to respond to any emergency.

In addition to the lifesaving work it does on South African Waters, the NSRI also runs a number of drowning prevention and water safety programmes at disadvantaged schools across the country.

“At the NSRI, we choose to celebrate Mandela’s life and legacy every day in a way that will bring about enduring change in the lives of those who we save”, added Roberston. 

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The NSRI relies on donations from the public and corporates. Please visit  to see how you can help us save lives.

Members of the public can further assist the NSRI by 

 so named after the year in which the organisation was founded, and fitting on Mandela Day. 

Saving Lives, #ItsWhatWeDo 

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In an emergency, please call SEA RESCUE EMERGENCY: 087 094 9774 (NSRI Emergency Operations Centre) or 112

* Find more organisations and worthy causes to support on Mandela Day: 

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