NATIONAL NSRI HERO
By: Sauda Haffejee
The National Sea Rescue Institute is a non-profit organisation that was founded in 1967.
The organisations main aim is to carry out sea rescue initiatives.
These include rescuing of stranded boats, people and sometimes the deceased.
Over the years, NSRI has trained many volunteers to be able to efficiently run the rescue missions.
The most instrumental aspect of the running of NSRI would have to be the willing volunteers.
The volunteer would have to be willing to learn new skills and techniques in order to excel.
One, of many, well equipped volunteers is a suburban, middle aged man who enjoys ocean activity.
Salim Dadabhay, an entrepreneur, who spends his weekends being a vital member of the NSRI volunteer base.
Dadabhay, joined the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), in 2007 when he visited their offices to find out about a boat skipper course.
He said that he was intrigued by the organisation and after attending the weekly Tuesday meetings, he joined the volunteers of Station 5 in Durban.
Now, Dadabhay has become a senior crew member who participates in rescues in and around Durban’s oceans and inland waters. He also trains new volunteers and lends a hand with maintenance issues at the Sea Rescue base.
The NSRI volunteers are on standby for night and day shifts as well as weekday and weekend shifts.
Volunteers await their signal from a message, at which stage they will meet at base and carry out the rescue mission.
The NSRI took on the “WaterWise Academy” whereby they educate children on what do to in an emergency situation as well as undergoing basic bystander CPR.
“Being useful to the society and getting an adrenaline rush at the same time is great,” Salim commented.
NSRI actually hosts more than 900 volunteers situated in 35 bases around South Africa’s dams, rivers and seas. They receive sponsors and donations to fund their annual running cost
of an estimated R52.5 million.
According to South African Medical Research Council 2006, drowning is the second highest cause of accidental death, after road accidents, among children under the age of 15.
Drowning in a river, sea or dam accounts for 61.6% of all drowning’s. Approximately 1320 drowning’s per year occurs at a river, sea or dam.
Dadabhay received the Crew’s Crewperson of the year award in 2012 at NSRI’s annual prize giving ceremony.
He was also publically praised in 2014 by being featured on the cover of the Sea Rescue magazine.
The magazine has been twice a winner of the PICA award for “publishing excellency” and has received an approximately 52 000 subscribers.
He commented that both of these experiences were humbling when asked about how he felt to have been praised by his fellow volunteers. “Humbled that I was chosen from a group of