Sea Rescue Emergency: 021 449 3500
The urgent need for a sea rescue organisation in South Africa was highlighted in 1966 when 17 fishermen drowned after three fishing boats sank in a terrible storm near Still Bay. Due to the lack of a rescue service there was no help for them other than from a fishing boat that managed to weather the storm and save a single crewman from the three boats that sank.
Following this incident, Miss Pattie Price (whose own life had been saved by the RNLI lifeboat in the British Channel) began a committed letter-writing campaign to motivate the formation of a sea rescue organisation. Captain Bob Deacon and Mr Ray Lant were the first volunteers to respond to this call. The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) was established in 1967 when it acquired its first rescue craft – a 4.7m inflatable boat called Snoopy donated by the Society of Master Mariners. Sea Rescue is the charity that saves lives on South African waters. NSRI is manned by 920 volunteers at 31 bases around the coast and on 3 inland dams.
Donations, bequests and sponsorships cover the annual running cost of R27.5m.
The station at Bakoven was the first to be built by the initial volunteers, from Bakoven, Camps Bay and Clifton, in September 1967. But the rescue boat stationed there was the second in the fleet – thus her radio call sign is Rescue 2. The current rescue boat on station is the Rotarian Schipper, a 6,5 metre Gemini RIB (rigid Inflatable boat) powered by two 90HP Evinrude engines. There are currently 32 volunteers serving on four crews which are on duty for one week of the month. All of our sea going crew are unpaid volunteers.
If you are willing and able to be a sea going volunteer – or a fundraiser for the Bakoven station please see look at the Sea Rescue website for more information: