National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI)

NSRI - Station 21

NSRI – Station 21

Station 21 is one of the busiest Sea Rescue Stations in South Africa, and up till 2011 held the record for carrying out the most rescue operations per year.  However, since Jeffreys Bay and Oyster Bay opened their own base stations, the workload is far less.

They assist recreational and commercial fishing vessels, pleasure craft, and swimmers as well as all water sport activities and events in St Francis Bay.  Sea Rescue crew consist only of volunteers, receiving no renumeration for their work.

Station 21 have three rescue boats, the Eikos Rescuer I, the one-motor Pierre and the Spirit of St Francis II. The 5,5m Eikos is a far more versatile and manouverable boat than the Spirit of St Francis II and is ideal for surf rescues.  The Eikos can be towed for beach launches in bad weather, saving precious time.

Station 21 receives donations from individuals or businesses and run a few fundraisers each year.

Crew of NSRI Station 21

Crew of NSRI Station 21

They have a totally committed crew of 30 registered members, including 6 coxains and 10 qualified crew, with a further 8 trainees (including 2 juniors) and 4 shore crew who never fail to appeal to a call out no matter time of day or night, usually in inclement weather. The station need more coast watchers.  NSRI crew often assist in other rescue and emergency operations such as fire fighting.

The Station Commander is Mark May and the contact number is 042-2940131.
Website:  Station 21.
You can also join them on Facebook.

The first NSRI station in St Francis Bay

Leighton Hulett, founder of St Francis Bay established the first NSRI station in 1971, known and registered as the Leighton Hulett Station 21. The first base was a corrugated iron shed on the canals and life boats had to negotiate the often difficult river mouth passage in bad weather. In the early 1990’s a new boathouse was built at Granny’s Pool with a slipway providing direct access to the sea and in 1997, with the inception of Port St Francis the NSRI moved to a state of the art rescue base station.