‘Rescuing one means saving a family’

2017-07-11 06:02
Anton Prinsloo has been an NSRI volunteer for 20 years. PHOTO: Samantha lee

Anton Prinsloo has been an NSRI volunteer for 20 years. PHOTO: Samantha lee

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His efforts have been rewarded following his two decades of service to the NSRI.

Anton Prinsloo from Strand is stationed at the Strandfontein NSRI base as a coxswain. He shows no signs of hanging up his wetsuit soon.

Prinsloo was honoured at the recent NSRI annual meeting’s long-service awards ceremony for his service.

His interest in sea rescue peaked in Grade 5, when his Maths teacher was out on a sea rescue mission for three days.

“He was a really good Maths teacher and we didn’t have Maths for three days, but since then it stuck in my mind,” says Prinsloo.

He lived near the beach all his life and after he finished school, he answered the call that had stayed with him all those years.

“I walked across the bridge and went to see what sea rescue was all about and that was 20 years ago,” he says.

He says his love for the sea and helping others keeps him coming back as long as possible.

“Your sanity lies in the insanity of the sea,” he says. “Then quality training and great skill in your fellow crewman. What better reason is there to keep you coming back to helping the community?”

Being part of so many missions and rescue efforts in his time as a volunteer, Prinsloo says it is difficult to pick standout moments.

“There are highlights and lowlights to this. The highlight is when you can bring someone back home alive obviously and there are so many of them.

“And then lowlights is when you can’t bring them back alive but you bring something back to the family, you bring closure,” he says.

He says sea rescue is an emotional journey and the crew members are invested in saving lives.

His love for the sea stems from a simple mantra he lives by, he says.

“The sea is an equaliser. It doesn’t matter if you are homeless or a billionaire. Out there you are the same,” he says.

“It’s a great cause and it is not about the institute, it is about the person. Being involved in any voluntary organisation, you get to meet different people from different walks of life but we all have a common goal.”

He encourages everyone who is interested in becoming part of a greater cause to get involved with the NSRI.

“There is no greater feeling than going out there and rescuing a person whom you know would not have made it. And in 10 years’ time they have families and then it is actually 20 people you have helped which all started years ago by saving one person’s life,” says Prinsloo.

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