Thirty two of Sea Rescue’s Pink Rescue Buoys will soon be installed along the Overstrand coastline, thanks to the generosity of individuals, businesses and other organisations in our area.
According to Deon Langenhoven of NSRI Station 17 Hermanus, many people who visit our beaches do not know what rip currents are, or that they are the biggest danger that swimmers face.
“Sea Rescue all too often gets an emergency call for a swimmer in difficulty, and when we get there, we find two or more people in danger of drowning. Tragically, sometimes, we are not able to get there in time and someone does drown. Often the person who does not survive is the kind person who goes into the water to try and help a person in difficulty,” Langenhoven said.
Because this happens so often, Sea Rescue launched its Pink Rescue Buoy project in November 2017. These bright pink rescue buoys are hung on strategically placed signs and will hopefully remind people to take care when entering the water – and not to swim if lifeguards are not on duty.
If there is an incident and someone needs help, these buoys can be thrown to that person, providing emergency floatation. There are clear graphics on the sign which explain how to use the buoy. And most importantly, the emergency number for the closest Sea Rescue station is printed on the sign. If the rescuer decides, against advice, to enter the water, the pink rescue buoy provides floatation for that person as well as for the casualty.
Many people are concerned that the Pink Buoys will be removed from the signs but, as expected, that has not been a major problem. The Pink Buoys that were removed from the Kleinmond lagoon were (thankfully) returned within days.
“For this project to work, communities must take ownership of their buoys. In this way, we can save lives together,” Langenhoven added.