Help find throw-bag

2018-06-12 06:01
The rescue buoy ready to save a life.

The rescue buoy ready to save a life.

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The Glencairn Beach pink rescue buoy throw-bag at the National Sea Rescue Institute’s (NSRI) Station 10 was stolen on Monday 4 June.

The throw-bag that holds the rope was taken, making the buoy not as effective in saving lives as it is supposed to be.

Without the throw-bag, it is impossible to throw accurately and as a result, having to unfasten knots will delay any rescue efforts.

The station is now calling on the community to help recover the bag so that they can continue their work of saving people at the beach.

This is not the first time rescue equipment has been stolen. The buoy that was stolen the previous time was recovered with the help of the community and now the NSRI is once again turning to the community for assistance.

Kelly Cowell from the NSRI confirms the theft.

“The specially designed ‘throw-bag’ that contains the rope was removed from the pink rescue buoy board at Glencairn last week. On Monday 4 June, NSRI crew discovered that the bag was missing, but that the rope was still attached to the rescue buoy. One pink rescue buoy was removed from its board last month but was returned after the community used social media to request that it be returned. The bag is the only other piece of equipment to be removed in the Simon’s Town/Kalk Bay area,” she says

The theft of the throw-bag means that there is no longer a reliable floatation device to help someone in difficulty in the water.

“These emergency floatation devices are there for an emergency to bridge the time gap that it will take emergency services to arrive. Every second counts in the water. Statistically, people go into the water help others who are in danger of drowning, often without the aid of floatation which puts them in danger of drowning themselves. It is extremely important to call for help as soon as possible (emergency numbers are on the sign) and then to throw the rescue buoy to the person in difficulty. Even a trained rescue swimmer would not enter the water to help someone without floatation,” says Cowell­.

Cowell adds that the pink rescue buoys have no other use so they see no reason why they would be stolen. “We surmise that they are removed from their post as ‘novelty items’ or as a dare. This mostly happens on Friday and Saturday nights. The throw-bag also has limited uses as it has a hole in the bottom and we guess that it was taken for the same reason as the buoys sometimes are. Regular checks are done to ensure the buoys and bags are still there, but the only thing that can ensure the buoys and bags are not removed is community buy-in to the project. If everybody in the community keeps an eye out for them and makes sure that they are in place and not used for anything other than rescue, it has been proved that they will save lives.”

Since the pink rescue buoy campaign was launched in November, 11 lives, four of which were children, have been saved.V Should you have any information, call 082 990 5965.

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