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Rotary launches fundraising for Kenton NSRI station

Rotary launches fundraising for Kenton NSRI station thumbnail

It took NSRI volunteers one minute and 30 seconds to launch their small rescue boat on the Kowie River in response to an “emergency call” this week. The simulated rescue activation was a highlight at the launch of Rotary Kenton’s fundraising campaign at the Station 11 base in Port Alfred on Wednesday 23 November.

Kenton on Sea Rotarians and NSRI volunteers at the launch of a fundraising campaign to establish a satellite NSRI station at Kenton on Sea. Picture: FAITH QINGA

Kenton has seen several emergency incidents in the past three years, including drownings, vessel assistance and medivacs, the evacuation of casualties to hospital in a helicopter and the NSRI’s station 11 saw the need for an on-site service in the seaside town so they could better fulfil their mission of saving lives. 

Once again, the Rotary Club of Kenton on Sea has stepped up. On Wednesday evening, they gathered at the NSRI Station 11 base with NSRI volunteers to launch a fundraising campaign to establish a satellite station. The proposed satellite station will not only service Kenton residents, but also neighbouring towns including Boknesstrand, Cannon Rocks, the Kariega River, Bushman’s River and Boknes lagoon, along with dams in the area.  

NSRI volunteers demonstrated the response time to attend to an emergency call on the Kowie River: it took one minute and 30 seconds to launch their small boat with a fully equipped crew, and two minutes 20 seconds to launch their big boat. 

“As proud supporters, the Rotary Club of Kenton on Sea has partnered with the NSRI to assist with fundraising for this very worthwhile project,” the Club said in a joint statement with the NSRI. 

“We firmly believe that a Satellite Station, situated within the precinct of Kenton on Sea, is of vital importance, not only to the safety of local residents, but also to the holiday community.” 

The Periwinkle Trust, a Rotary partner established in 2010, the brainchild of several owners of holiday homes at Kenton on Sea, were the first to pledge a R100 000 donation towards the satellite project. Rotary has thus far raised over R400 000 in pledges and is appealing for more donations. They need an estimated R1.2 million to get the project running. 

With these funds, the satellite station will be set up in a repurposed shipping container at Kenton’s Middle beach. This structure will be fully equipped with a vessel, quad bike, rescue equipment and all the personal protective equipment required by the NSRI. Should the fundraising efforts be successful, the project is expected to be on the ground early next year. 

Time matters

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The NSRI’s current response time from Port Alfred to Kenton on Sea is 55 minutes to launch a craft from Station 11 travelling by sea; 15 minutes travelling by road supported by local emergency services and 60 minutes travelling by road supported by local emergency services but towing a vessel.

If you would like to donate to this life-saving project, please contact Mike Wilmot on 082-569-2136.

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