At the The National Sea Rescue Institute’s 2015 AGM held today at the Rotunda, Bay Hotel in Cape Town this evening a number of awards were handed out, which included long service awards for volunteer crew, awards for service to NSRI, and four awards for remarkable rescues carried out by NSRI volunteers, the SA Navy and a Grade 8 Knysna school pupil.
This year, two of the highest awards given by NSRI were made to volunteer Sea Rescue crews from Port Elizabeth (Gallantry Bronze) and Bakoven (Gallantry Silver).
Full List of Awards Presented:
- Silver Gallantry Award: Johnny Albert, Jeremy Joseph Godfrey and Alex Ryan Albert all from Station 2 Bakoven – For the rescue of 18 year old Shane Keenan who was entangled in his kite lines and being swept towards rocks off Glen beach, Camps Bay, by a huge ground swell and a 50 knot South Easter on 19th January 2015.
- Bronze Gallantry Award: Stephen Van Den Berg from Station 6 Port Elizabeth and Daniel Heimann, previously from Station 6 Port Elizabeth and now at NSRI HQ – For going to the rescue of surfskier Clinton Hempel, on 1 November 2014, at Sardinia Bay. Clinton had paddled with friends from Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth, to Sardina Bay. The conditions deteriorated during the paddle and he fell off his surfski near to the take out beach. Separated from the group and unable to remount his surfski he became seriously hypothermic. Although he managed to hold onto the ski he was unable to help himself in any other way.
- Chairman’s Letter Of Appreciation: SAS Isandlwana Captain and crew for rescue of 6 crew on yacht Bille – On the 7th January 2014, SAS Isandlwana responded to the stricken Angolan yacht Bille taking part in the Cape to Rio Yacht race approximately 100 miles NW of Saldanha Bay. Using a small inflatable the SAS Isandlwana’s crew went to the rescue of the six crew members of the stricken dismasted yacht. Unfortunately the seventh crew member of the yacht died when the yacht was dismasted in the storm prior to the arrival of the rescue team.
- Waterwise Academy Recognition Award: Devon Dodd, a Grade 8 pupil at Oakhill School in Knysna, was surfing at Buffalo Bay on Freedom Day, April 27 when he noticed a swimmer in distress and he rescued the man, who’s name he never found out, using his surfboard as a floatation aid. It is the first time that this award has been made.
- Marmion Marsh Award: Billy Harker – In 2006, following a long search by air and sea units in foul weather conditions, in fading light, the NSRI eventually found and saved the life of surfskier Casper Kruger. Race organiser Billy Harker approached the NSRI about starting a surfski paddlers fundraising project.
- Alric Simpson Award: Captain Kieron Cox for his quite remarkable contribution over the past 29 years to the training of NSRI crew. The concept was simple: a R25 per month debit-order campaign marketed into the surfski community and ring fenced to fund Sea Rescue boats around the country.
- Directors Thanks: Hendrik Josias Henn – Station 17 Hermanus on the occasion of his standing down from the position of station commander of Station 17, Hermanus, on the 14 April 2015 after 26½ years in the post – and for staying on as operational crew.
- 20 Year Long Service Awards: Laurent Eray – Station 14 Plettenberg Bay, Nazeem Abrahams – Station 16 Strandfontein, Gavin Fordham – Station 19 Richards, Bay, Michael Saunders – Station 25 Hartbeespoort Dam, Geoff Harris – Station 9 Gordons Bay, Lynne Harris – Station 9 Gordons Bay
- 25 Year Long Service Awards: Dr. John Donald – Station 14 Plettenberg Bay, Andre Fraser – Station 15 Mossel Bay, Marion Spencer – Station 17 Hermanus
- 30 Year Long Service Awards: David Robins – HQ Director And Station 3 Table Bay
- 35 Year Long Service Awards: Roger Clancy – Station 12 Knysna, Phil Ress – Station 3 Table Bay, Michael Clark – Station 17 Hermanus
- 40 Year Long Service Awards: Brad Geyser – HQ, Stn 2 Bakoven & Station 8 Hout Bay, Rob Stirrat – HQ and Stn 3 Table Bay, Ian Wienburg – HQ and Stn 3 Table Bay
- 45 Year Long Service Awards: Ian Strachan – HQ, Stn 9 Gordons Bay
- Most Improved Station Award: Station 20 Shelly Beach
- Best Rib Station Award: Station 2 Bakoven
- Best Class 1 Station Award (Pat O Sullivan): Station 10 Simon’s Town.