New sponsored boat to help NSRI save lives

From left, DHL South Africa managing director, John Lucas and NSRI CEO, Cleeve Robertson at The Spirit of DHL launch and blessing ceremony on Saturday. Sponsored by DHL, the 6.5m vessel will make a huge difference to the vital work NSRI Station Seven (East London) volunteers do along our coastline.
From left, DHL South Africa managing director, John Lucas and NSRI CEO, Cleeve Robertson at The Spirit of DHL launch and blessing ceremony on Saturday. Sponsored by DHL, the 6.5m vessel will make a huge difference to the vital work NSRI Station Seven (East London) volunteers do along our coastline.
Image: Madeleine Chaput

The East London NSRI (National Sea Rescue Institute), known as station seven, welcomed their new 6.5m rapid response vessel in a launch and blessing ceremony on Saturday.

The Spirit of DHL – sponsored by DHL – is set to make a huge difference to the vital work NSRI volunteers do along the coastline.

“They do a tremendous job and I am always so proud and humbled to be associated with people who put their lives at risk helping others,” said DHL SA MD John Lucas.

NSRI began in 1967 as a humanitarian service, and has continued to save lives at no charge to the public. With 32 bases along the coast and on three inland dams, more than 1,000 men and women are dedicated volunteers nationwide.

NRSI’s annual running cost of R25m is covered by donations, sponsorships and bequests, and the volunteers save the organisation a salary bill in excess of R250m.

“It’s always nice to get a new boat, but this is actually about the people; those saving lives and those needing to be saved,” said NSRI CEO Cleeve Robertson.

“DHL’s sponsorship of The Spirit of DHL is a priceless gesture because you cannot put a price on a human life and I’m sure that this vessel will save many.”

The vessel will be used for coastal rescue to ensure swimmers, surfers, kite surfers and others along the East London coast receive assistance as quickly as possible.

NSRI station seven commander Geoff McGregor said The Spirit of DHL had replaced the crew’s older, smaller 5.5m vessel, and it had already been put to good use.

“A week ago we went out on the first rescue call, responding to two drownings off Eastern Beach,” said McGregor.

“We have been brand partners with NSRI since 2013, and although we’re involved in many corporate social responsibility projects, this relationship with NSRI is very special,” said Lucas.

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