South Africa's National Sea Rescue Institute is registered as a “Section 21 Company", "A Company not for gain" or a non-profit company (NPC).  We are a member of the International Maritime Rescue Federation, and of the SASAR (South African Search and Rescue Organisation) Maritime Sub-Committee.

Our Head Office is situated in Glengariff Road, Sea Point. There are three regional offices: in Durban, Port Elizabeth and in Johannesburg, with a total of 35 paid staff members nationally.  The NSRI has 32 coastal and 4 inland stations. Its fleet of 112 rescue craft and 27 vehicles are operated by 940 well-trained volunteer crew members.

Donations, bequests and sponsorships cover the annual running cost of R180m. The volunteers save NSRI a salary bill in excess of R250m per annum.

NSRI began in 1967 - as a humanitarian service, at no charge to the public. This is still the case today.

For more details see about the NSRI


Our organisation has two main objectives. To save lives on South African waters and to promote water and boating safety.

The NSRI is the only voluntary sea rescue service in Africa and carries out approximately 97% of all sea rescue operations on the Southern African Coast.

Station Commanders, are nominated by their stations and appointed by the Operations Board. They serve a three-year term of office and are responsible for managing the Rescue Station. The Station Commander is answerable to the Operations Board for the effective management of the Rescue Station and duties include ensuring the rescue boats, vehicles and basses are maintained to the highest possible standards so that they are effective during rescue missions. Other duties include ensuring that training standards are met, budgeting and good governance of the organisation's assets, discipline, recruitment of volunteers, fund-raising and meeting the other objectives, vision and goals of the organisation, are met.

The Station Commander, or in his absence the Deputy Station Commander are responsible for authorising the deployment of the Station's assets.

A Station Management Committee assists the Station Commander in the running of the Rescue Station.

NSRI Head Office



The view from the beach at Melkbosstrand


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