Placed strategically on signs at selected inland rivers, dams and at beaches, these bright pink buoys act as a reminder to take care if there are no lifeguards on duty, and that in the event of someone getting into difficulty in the water, they can be used as emergency flotation until help arrives. Their bright pink colour allows them to be easily seen.
Each Pink Rescue Buoy is housed on a sturdy pole with signage showing how they should be used, as well as the NSRI’s emergency number and the buoy’s unique identification number, which helps rescue services to identify the location of the emergency. ID numbers and NSRI's contact telephone numbers are also embossed on the buoys themselves so they can easily be returned to their posts after usage, or if they are lost or stolen.
Watch the video below of how good samaritans battle the elements in race against time to save 2 fishermen with the help of a Pink Rescue Buoy.
A Pink Rescue Buoy costs R1 500 at our Online Store.
The NSRI has three core Drowning Prevention programmes – Water Safety Education, Pink Rescue Buoys and Survival Swimming – and offers a range of free resources and educational materials.
Become a Pink Rescue Buoy Custodian
Since the project started in November 2017, over 1 500 Pink Rescue Buoys have been installed around South Africa and more than 135 lives have been saved through their use. This would not have been possible without the generous support of donors and sponsors, and buy-in from city councils, municipalities and communities around the country. We urge everyone to please take care of them, and report stolen buoys to us by calling 087 094 9774, or filling out the form below.
“Untrained people are going to the aid of someone who is in danger of drowning despite being advised not to. Our Pink Rescue Buoys use simple graphics to explain that it is safer to throw the float to someone and call the emergency number on the sign for help. But if someone does go into the water despite being advised not to, they have a very good chance of survival if they take flotation with them. In the rescues that we have recorded no rescuer was injured and all rescues were successful”
NSRI Lifeguard Training Coordinator Rebecca Carter-Smith recounts a recent rescue that – yet again – illustrates the value of the NSRI’s Pink Rescue Buoys.
A man who had been fishing off the West Pier was washed into the Kowie River by a wave, and soon it became a race against the clock for one NSRI rescue swimmer to save his life.
At 15h30, Wednesday, 24 August, NSRI Knysna duty crew were activated following reports of a drowning in progress in front of East Head Cafe, next to the NSRI Knysna rescue station, Knysna Lagoon.
NSRI Port Alfred duty crew were activated following reports a patron at Guido's restaurant, West Beach, Port Alfred, of a man swept off of the West Pier, by a wave, into the Kowie River near to the Kowie River Mouth.
A trip to the beach turned into a lesson on the dangers of rip currents, as well as the value of a well-placed Pink Rescue Buoy for a group of learners at Swartvlei Beach.
Since its inception in 2017, the Pink Rescue Buoy project has been behind the rescue of more than 110 people.