A floatation device created by the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) has won the 2018 International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF) award for Innovation and Technology in Maritime Search and Rescue. Dubbed the ‘Pink Rescue Buoy’, the rescue aid was proclaimed the winner at the IMRF awards gala in Norway yesterday.

The prestigious IMRF awards celebrate achievements in maritime search and rescue efforts through the creations of products and technologies. Nominated for the award in October 2018, the Pink Rescue Buoy has saved 15 lives since its inception.

Pink Rescue Buoy 

NSRI sought to create a safety mechanism for swimmers and provide an aid in potential drowning incidents.

“There is a clear pattern where people are drowning because of a lack of flotation. The typical scenario is that someone is in difficulty in the water and a well-meaning bystander goes in to help. Tragically, the “helper” is usually the person who may be most likely to drown,” said NSRI in an official statement.

This problem led the NSRI to design and implement the device.

The Pink Rescue Buoy project launched in November 2017. The buoys are strategically placed to remind people to take caution and care when entering the water, with clear instructions on how to use the device.

A visible emergency number of the closest sea recuse station is printed on the sign.

NSRI wanted to create an affordable torpedo-shaped buoy flotation that was available to the public. The bright pink colour was chosen for its clear visibility in the water and for its possibility of deterring theft of the mechanism.

Drowning hot-spots along the coastal areas of South Africa were identified as areas to install the Pink Rescue Buoys.

NSRI head of Drowning Prevention, Andrew Ingram, received the award  and expressed his massive pride in NSRI’s achievement.

“It is a great honour for our team, which has worked on the Pink Rescue Buoy project over the past year, to be recognised by the IMRF,” he said.

Sponsor of the award Julian Longson of Pole Star with NSRI’s Andrew Ingram

There are currently 300 rescue buoys installed around the country, and although theft of the mechanism has been a problem, 15 lives have been saved.

NSRI is hoping to perform more installations across the country and educate communities on the risks of ocean swimming and how to deal with various possible scenarios.


Picture: Twitter/NSRI

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