Sea Rescue Magazine
The beginning of September started summer with a bang as hot conditions resulted in a throng of beachgoers all intent on cooling down in the ocean! We’ve had an early start and I guess we can anticipate a hot summer that will break records.
Winter wasn’t its usual quiet self and crews have been relatively busy, which was a bit surprising although it is good to keep busy and stay current.
The NSRI Emergency Operations Centre is up and running 24/7 to ensure that we capture all emergencies, dispatch to rescues as quickly as possible and relieve some of the administrative load on stations. We have recruited a great group of call takers who are busy learning the ropes and getting used to our new operational software in preparation for the season. The information they capture, analyse and report on will be hugely helpful in targeting interventions.
The Pink Rescue Buoys continue to be a tool that saves lives – 46 to date, which is amazing – and as the evidence mounts, I think it will be difficult for municipalities to ignore. I grew up in an age in which every beach had a line and life vest, which were later replaced by yellow torpedo buoys … and then they all disappeared. Somebody dropped the buoy! We need to put them back, not only at every beach, but next to every water body where people swim.
As the heat picks up and children head for water, we need to spread the message: parents need to be close to their under-five-year-olds, children must be closely supervised near water, swimming pools should be covered and fenced, lifejackets must be worn, don’t go in the water if you can’t swim when the water is deeper than you are, don’t dive into dirty water where you can’t see the bottom, don’t drink alcohol at sea or near water, teach children to swim early, make sure an adult is close to a child in a blow-up boat or toy, get children to wear wetsuits or buoyancy aids, swim at lifeguarded beaches, look for and avoid rip currents on beaches, teach your children emergency numbers, and learn basic rescue skills and CPR for yourself.
We want to have a fun-filled, safe summer!
Dr Cleeve Robertson