The NSRI has moved a step closer to operating rescue stations inside four key Western Cape small boat harbours following an in-principle agreement with the Department of Public Works (DWP), the NSRI has confirmed.

DPW addressed the matter last month in parliament during a Budget Vote presentation that referred to an intended partnership with the NSRI to set up bases and training programmes.

NSRI chief executive Cleeve Robertson told SABBEX the NSRI had been pushing to secure leases in the harbours for the past 2-3 years.  He said the next step would be ironing out a detailed partnership agreement.

“DPW has indicated that they would like to partner with us in that we would be long term tenants and in exchange we would continue to provide services but also expand activities in relation to training of lifeguards, water safety education, etcetera,” Robertson said.  “We haven’t settled on the detail yet – it’s an evolving space,” he said.

In a statement posted on the NSRI website Robertson also said the partnership would include a developmental angle “with a vision to improve and expand rescue services along the Northern Cape Coast (Port Nolloth), Wild Coast (Port St Johns) and KwaZulu-Natal (Port Edward, Shelly Beach, Rocky Bay, St Lucia.”

“Training and development of rescue personnel within these rural domains would form the foundation of the initiative,” Robertson said.

“We believe that through collaboration we can achieve greater levels of service towards our mission of saving lives on South African waters,” he said.

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