Volunteer your time

It takes a special kind of person to give up their time and to risk their life. Sea Rescue is run by over 1 000 unpaid volunteers around the country. Even our board of directors are volunteers.

It is most useful to have new recruits who are familiar with the sea, radio operation, navigation or first aid but, whatever your talent, we can put you to good use. Training is done after hours in the evening or on weekends. Standby for rescues is a 24/7 commitment, and best suited to people who live 10 minutes from a rescue base.

Volunteering is not glamorous work. There is a lot of training and a whole lot of cleaning up involved. It can take anywhere from 6 months to 12 months before you will be ready for a real-life rescue. So, if you are thinking Baywatch, then you will have to think again. Team effort is essential.

If you prefer to stay on dry land you could help a rescue base with admin work, maintenance tasks or as the radio controller.  Each base would also appreciate a “mother” who is on hand with hot coffee and dry towels when they return from sea.

Coastwatchers (usually retired folk who have a good view of the ocean from their homes) are an important part of the team as they act as “spotters”.  Special training and equipment is supplied.

In terms of fundraising – it may seem a mindless task, but a street collection can raise around R40,000 for one morning’s work.  If you are humble enough to join us and shake a tin, we would love to have you.

Our first priority with volunteers is commitment and participation – so, distance from the rescue base (ideally 10 minutes) and time available for rescues and training are most important.

You may like to read about a recent recruitment day in Durban 

You can download our Introduction to Sea Rescue information below:

Introduction to Sea Rescue

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