Blog 02 November 2012

 
News Updates today in St Francis Bay

1. ST FRANCIS CONNECT ARTICLE -
Marc May – crises management personified

Marc May is the Station Commander of NSRI Station 21, St Francis Bay.

How many of us have actually sat back and contemplated what the life of a NSRI volunteer is like? Who of us are selfless enough to put our lives in danger for some paraletic drunk fisherman who broke his leg….or an arrogant “Gautenger” who blames his equipment, god or his rescuers for finding himself in a life threatening situation? Who is prepared to leave his wife, girlfriend or family, warm, safely tucked up in bed and head out in a cold wild night to save above said member of the human race?

Well … reading the above you would be forgiven for not choosing that life. However, our community needs you to make that commitment.

In the words of Marc:

The people who save a life in St Francis are going to come out of this community

Quite a mouthful. We have to realise that we are the people of St Francis…WE are the ones to help ourselves. No-one else is going to crawl out the wood-work to assist when there is a crises … We have to jump in and help.

Marc has injured himself twice whilst on rescues (neck and lower back) and as a result can no longer go on call-outs….this has prompted him to shift into the vacated Station Commander seat …. assisting with his wealth of experience and crises management skills.

Our local station has 3 qualified coxswains (boat drivers) at the moment; Marc, Garth Shamley and Brett Firth. With Marc out of active duty and Brett only just having qualified it becomes clear that new blood is needed…. People like Garth Shamley have given and given of themselves over the years and its time that new crew get trained.

Training a normal stand-by crew member takes about 50 hours. This could take up to 6 months to complete and then the more advanced courses (1st Aid, Radio license, coxswain) start. It can take up to 2 years for a fully fledged crew-member to qualify in the system and even longer for a coxswain, who’s training would have cost R170 000 by the time he qualifies. It is clear that forward thinking is required to keep the station active and manned to cope with any crises.

So! Who is going to rescue us?! Who is prepared to give of himself to the community?
The NSRI are appealing to any body, male or female, who feel they have what it takes to join the NSRI. Become part of an elite group of individuals, highly trained and able to respond when the community needs them.
We have lived through quite a number of crises through the years here in St Francis and we have always relied on the NSRI to save the day….whether it is ferrying people across the Kromme or saving a dog in difficulty in the river mouth….airlifting injured crew off a fishing boat or saving your child in the surf….they are there! They have put out fires, removed snakes, saved pets, humans and wild animals….they do not draw a line when it comes to serving the community….neither should we.

I will leave you with this thought…
Who will rescue us when we are in difficulty – Let’s become part of the solution and not the problem.

A bit of personal history on Marc May and family.

Since Marc’s parents started holidaying in St Francis Bay circa 1980 the lure of a quality life-style appealed to him. In ’97, he decided to kick the corporate life and settle in St Francis Bay.
He and his wife Anneke dived in deep and started off by buying and running the Sand River Lodge in St Francis Drive.

nsri marc may sand river lodge st francis bay stfrancisconnect

Marc and Anneke May of The Sand River Lodge

Anneke is the proverbial ‘behind every good man, there is a good woman’ type. Marc admits that running the business would be impossible without her…in his own words: “Without the unconditional support of our wives and girlfriends, NSRI volunteers would simply not be able to make the commitment that they do to keep the NSRI the highly effective sea rescue institute that it is.”

Marc and Anneke have two children, Saskia (9) and Daniel (5).

The NSRI Station 21 area number is 042 294 0131 . They rely entirely on volunteers and donations to provide their invaluable service and thank the public for their ongoing support. You can view their website here

2.  ST FRANCIS CONNECT ARTICLE - Tragic drowning in canals

Tragically a drowning incident in the canals claimed the life of a child.

nsri station 21 st francis bay stfrancisconnect

At lunchtime yesterday, NSRI Station 21, St Francis Bay sea rescue duty crew were activated following reports of a drowning in progress at The Cove, in the canals at St Francis Bay.

An off-duty NSRI St Francis Bay crew member who was nearby to the scene at the time, was alerted by bystanders that a child, aged 11 years old, was in difficulty in the water where a group of children had been swimming in the canal.

The NSRI volunteer rushed over and swam towards where the child was seen to be in difficulty in the water but before he could reach the child he had disappeared under water. The NSRI volunteer then tried desperately to try to locate the child underwater by free diving at the location but was not able to locate him.

The NSRI St Francis Bay sea rescue duty crew and the SA Police Services responded by road and NSRI rescue swimmers were deployed into the water to free dive on the location but despite an extensive search no sign of the child could be been found.

A Police dive unit were activated and deployed into the water to conduct a scuba dive search and at approximately 18h00 the body of the child was located underwater and the body has been recovered by Police divers and confirmed to be deceased and handed into the care of the Forensic Pathology Services.

Police have not released the name of the child, who is from Sea Vista, St Francis Bay, and the family of the missing child are in the care of Police Trauma Counselors.

It is not known what caused the child to get into difficulty in the water and investigations into the incident have been opened by Police.

Police have opened an inquest docket.






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