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087 094 9774

The NSRI’s Pink Rescue Buoy initiative has been a ground-breaking innovation for Drowning Prevention since 2017, winning the IMRF (International Maritime Rescue Federation) Award for Innovation and Technology in 2018

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.

In this section

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.

Pink Rescue Buoy Finder

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087 094 9774


Since the project started in November 2017, over 1 000 Pink Rescue Buoys have been installed around South Africa and more than 100 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.

Andrew Ingram 2

“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”

Andrew Ingram, Drowning Prevention Manager

Read more about the Pink Rescue Buoys

PINK RESCUE BUOY  | Published: 4 April 2022

Pink Rescue Buoy project flourishes

Since its inception in 2017, the Pink Rescue Buoy project has been behind the rescue of more than 110 people.

FUNDRAISING  | Published: 4 April 2022

Welcome aboard, Life Health Solutions

The NSRI would not be able to perform its lifesaving and water safety work if it were not for the generous support of sponsors and donors. We welcome Life Health Solutions as a Platinum Partner and thank them for taking care of the wellness of our staff and crew.

FUNDRAISING  | Published: 4 April 2022

Go the extra mile for the NSRI

The Oceans 8 Charity Swim will see swimmers taking to the water in KwaZulu-Natal in aid of their favourite non-profit organisation.

PINK RESCUE BUOY  | Published: 18 March 2022

Incidents at Bakoven, Sedgefield, Gqeberha and Plettenberg Bay

NSRI Wilderness duty crew were activated following reports of a drowning in progress at Swartvlei, Sedgefield. Additionally NSRI Bakoven duty crew were alerted following eye-witness reports of 2 females that had fallen into the water at Bakoven. Also, the NSRI Plettenberg Bay duty crew were alerted following reports of an injured crewman aboard a fishing trawler. Lastly, our NSRI Gqeberha duty crew were activated to patient evacuate an Indonesian adult male crewman from a fishing trawler on the evening of Monday, 14 March.

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PINK RESCUE BUOY  | Published: 24 February 2022

A remarkable series of events

As a former professional and volunteer lifeguard, Franswa Fernandez is no stranger to helping people in trouble on the water, but on that hot Saturday morning, he saved a life using a Pink Rescue Buoy that had been installed less than 16 hours before.

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EDUCATION  | Published: 24 February 2022

Keeping our kids safe

A Learn-to-Swim programme was recently launched at Athlone swimming pool by the City of Cape Town, in partnership with the NSRI’s Drowning Prevention unit.