Sea Rescue Magazine
On 27 September I lay awake thinking about the 21 fishermen in the water late at night in a 40-knot southeaster and 6m swells and two very small rescue vessels battling to the scene on a huge ocean. Speaking to the two coxswains who responded, it is clear that it was hell out there – but they persisted in the true spirit of maritime rescue and saving lives at sea. Inspirational! Well done, guys. It’s what we do…
So winter’s behind us, the ‘blood’ moon is out of the way and the ‘gnomes’ have been busy building new boats, implementing an updated version of SafeTrx with an emergency feature that allows you to send an emergency SMS with your GPS position to the MRCC, laying concrete and bricks in Kommetjie, and during all this lousy weather we’ve been busy with many, many rescues.
Yzerfontein’s new base is up and running and Kommetjie should be completed for the summer and the lobster season, which sees every man and his bath head to sea to throw nets in pursuit of the ‘red gold’! With a new base and a new boat, our service in the area is significantly strengthened and our response range improved. As with all capital projects there are many philanthropists that leap in to help. Although we’re still looking for funding for the project, we are extremely grateful to the trusts, corporates and individuals that have made Kommetjie possible. Looking forward to seeing you all at the opening!
One of the rewarding aspects of what I do at Sea Rescue is talking to you guys, the donors, beneficiaries and supporters. I get called often with compliments on the service and volunteers, and sometimes complaints! Stakeholder communication is a key strategic issue and absolutely necessary to our decision-making, and feedback – good or bad – is essential. So thank you for picking up the phone, dropping us a mail or, in the case of those who are chronologically advanced or technologically alternative, for those hand-penned letters that demonstrate your unwavering support and appreciation to our volunteers. Keep them coming!
Finally, just as I was typing away, good news for Port Elizabeth in that we’ve received authority to proceed with the slipway construction. Fantastic! Best wishes for a safe summer, and remember to wear your life jacket, be bright, be buoyant and be in touch!
DR CLEEVE ROBERTSON, CEO