Derek McAuley, Helderberg
I had the privileged experience recently of visiting Station 9 of the NSRI at Gordon’s Bay.
The dedication of these volunteers who are called on to rescue people at sea for no personal reward was humbling.
Their funding is 90% provided by individuals and corporates.
It receives nothing from the City of Cape Town, nor from provincial government,
and we won’t even mention our misbegotten national government.
I am not appealing for people merely to support their general efforts with money, although this is welcomed, but there is an even more vital need to assist the NSRI station at Gordon’s Bay.
Since the South African Navy School at Gordon’s Bay Harbour has stopped using sea going vessels, the SAN has stopped funding the dredging of the harbour.
The harbour is rapidly silting up to such an extent that the largest boat available to the NSRI is unable to leave or enter the harbour, thus depriving the NSRI of the use of this boat.
As more silting occurs, and other NSRI boats are similarly affected, it is important to address this problem urgently.
I would appeal to service organisations such as Rotary, Lions and Round Table either individually or collectively to start a drive to provide funds to dredge the harbour.
I know people will argue that this will benefit high end owners of sailing
vessels presently berthed in Gordon’s Bay Harbour and, yes, these owners should be financial contributors to the funding, but the important outcome of such a venture, if the harbour is periodically dredged, will be to make NSRI more effective.
As an aside, anybody wishing to be similarly humbled by the efforts of the volunteers should visit the station on Saturday September 2, on their open day, to see them in action.
Ed’s reply: Good timing, thanks for the encouraging letter and see below for more on the open day.