NSRI Station 18: A celebration of 50 years of saving lives

3 September 2017 Local Events

NSRI Station 18: A celebration of 50 years of saving lives

2017 sees the NSRI celebrating 50 years of saving lives in South Africa and Station 18 at Melkbosstrand opened its doors for the public on Saturday 2nd September. 50 years is a long time and the station on the beach at Melkbos has been where it is for 21 years. However, things have changed a little since then as Station Commander Rhine Barnes explained to One FM:

“In the early day we didn’t have our own boats, and each Friday evening for training, the skipper of Coxswain had to bring his own boat ” Rhine explained “and this meant that every Friday we had a different boat”

This is hard to believe today when one looks at the impressive array of rescue and support equipment that Station 18 has today.

Rhine took me round the station and explained about some of the equipment that they have from smaller craft to larger boats, the current large lifeboat is in for repair and temporary boat is currently on loan. “Sprit of Brenda” is the newest water craft in the fleet that was launched last year and is just part of an impressive and somewhat maintenance-intensive fleet of rescue equipment. Rhine explained that maintenance is one of the higher running costs for the station as it is with all stations around South Africa.

Station 18 at Melkbos really does feel like a family and many of those who volunteer at the station are second or third generation “lifesavers”. All the volunteers are passionate about what they do, and today NSRI Station 18 is one of the more progressive Lifeboat stations in South Africa. Always trying to improve the vital service they provide, Melkbosstrand is the first lifeboat station to incorporate lifeguards within the station. This is a massive step and is something the station can be proud and as one of the young lifeguards, Roneta, explained “ it is a great thing a the lifeboats always need rescue swimmers. It really works two ways and we complement each other”

NSRI Station 18 is always looking for volunteers and it is surprisingly easy to get involved. Anyone with any interest can just pop down at 6pm on a Friday evening and everything will be explained. Even if you cannot swim or don’t really like the water the station always needs volunteers in its control room, mechanics to maintain boats and volunteers just to help with fundraising and so much more.

Spending some time at the NSRI on their 50th Birthday was something special, getting to meet the people but above all finding out more about what they was an eye opener. Every beach babe and surfer dude seems to take the NSRI and the lifeguards for granted, however next time you are at Melkbosstrand and you see one of the brave guys or girls just go up and say thank you – it really will be appreciated.

For 50 years the NSRI has been saving lives and Melkbos has been do that for 21 of those years. Well done on 50 years NSRI, here is to the next 50.

NSRI Station 18 contact details:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NSRI18/

Website: http://www.nsri18.co.za/

Tel: 082 990 5958 – Rhine Barnes

If you have charity or good cause that you would like One FM to come and visit drop us a line at community@onefm.co.za


Matt Newnham is a local freelance writer and published author visit his website www.mattnewnham.co.za

Photos Courtesy Marnett Meyer and Paparazzi Studios, Cape Town – 082 415 1719



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