NSRI ready for holiday and festive season
The NSRI and other rescue services are ready for the upcoming holiday and festive season. That was the message of Rob van Helsdingen, the Wilderness NSRI-station commander, after a rescue practice on Sunday morning.
A group of about 30 people took part in an exercise of the NSRI and other rescue services at Wilderness beach on Sunday 21 October. The exercise started shortly after 08:00. Representatives of the NSRI in Wilderness, Plettenberg Bay and Still Bay, George Fire Brigade, ER24 and paramedics of AMS took part. The AMS helicopter based in Oudtshoorn also participated.
After a safety briefing, the practice started in all seriousness. Several onlookers gathered on the beach to watch the emergency personnel tackle the waves, which were fairly rough and forceful. A wind of 12 to 20 knots was blowing and the temperature was about 20 degrees Celcius. It was mainly NSRImembers that took part in the exercise. "Drownings" were simulated. "Victims" (NSRI members) were rescued about 30 to 50m offshore by their colleagues with the help of the AMS helicopter. They were then brought to safety on the beach. Several NSRI boats were also in the area. The exercise concluded by 11:00.
Mike Vonk, Wilderness NSRI deputy station commander, said this type of exercise takes place more or less four times a year.
It is possible that a similar exercise will take place in Plettenberg Bay before the beginning of December. Another exercise at Wilderness is planned for 2 December. His advice to people is to save the local Sea Rescue Emergency number on their mobile phones. For Herold's Bay, George, Wilderness and Sedgefield this number is 082 990 5955. When you dial this number, your call will always be answered by one of the senior Sea Rescue crew at Station 23 Wilderness.
The NSRI relies mostly on volunteers who give up their free time to help. It is estimated that more than 1 000 volunteers help the NSRI countrywide.
See more photos and a video at www.georgeherald.com The team that took part in the exercise at Wilderness.