How a simple lifesaving idea has put Rainbow Nation in the pink

A South African innovation that has saved 14 lives in a year is in line for an international award.

The International Maritime Rescue Federation has shortlisted the NSRI’s pink rescue buoys in the innovation and technology category of its international awards‚ which will be handed out in Norway in November.

The buoys‚ which have been placed on dozens of beaches since November 2017‚ are aimed at what National Sea Rescue Institute drowning prevention manager Andrew Ingram calls “peer rescue”‚ in which bystanders swim to the assistance of someone in difficulty.

“The will to help is so strong that it is very difficult to stick to our advice that people shouldn’t attempt peer rescues‚” he said.

The pink rescue buoys are primarily designed as reminders to beach-goers that they should not swim if lifeguards are not on duty.

“If there is an incident and someone needs help‚ these buoys can be thrown to that person‚ providing emergency flotation‚” says the NSRI website.

“There are clear graphics on the sign which explain how to use the buoy. And most importantly‚ the emergency number for the closest Sea Rescue station is printed on the sign.

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