NSRI gets new CEO

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) has announced the organisations’ new  CEO today, 21 February, as being Dr Cleeve Robertson.

DrRobertson will take over the helm of NSRI from Ian Wienburg on 1 September 2013. Wienburg will remain in the wings for a year to ensure a smooth transition and will stay involved in NSRI in the field of fundraising which is his unique forte.

Dr Cleeve Robertson and Ian Wienburg. Picture Andrew Ingram / Sea Rescue
Dr Cleeve Robertson and Ian Wienburg. Picture Andrew Ingram / Sea Rescue

 No stranger to Sea Rescue, Dr Robertson is the official NSRI Chief Medical Advisor and as such is a familiar face in the boardroom and at the rescue bases around the country.   He vacates the position of Senior Manager Medical Services: Emergency Medical Services for the Western Cape, a position that he has held since 2001, to head up Sea Rescue.

 As well as specialising in emergency medicine, Cleeve is a qualified commercial surface supply diver and commercial diving supervisor, diving medical examiner and a national sports diving instructor. The publications he has authored for both diving and EMS remain in use after many years by emergency service providers. 

 In the 1980s he obtained his boat skippers license, then instructors, and since 1987 he has been able to test skipper competency up to 9 metre class vessels for commercial, sport and recreational use.  He is also a boat surveyor through SASCA and serves as a SAMSA Medical Examiner.

 Because of the shift work required of an Emergency Medical Services doctor, Cleeve has never been on regular NSRI boat crew but when called upon by Sea Rescue to assist with medical calls at sea he has always volunteered his services.  His work for Sea Rescue – from assisting with Sea Rescue operations, doing medicals for the volunteers and always being available when needed, has made him as much a part of the NSRI volunteers as the red wetsuits.

 “The NSRI presents me with a unique opportunity of fulfilling my passion for patients and the marine environment,” said Cleeve.  “I was rescued by the NSRI in 1986 after a yachting mishap on Robben island … so I still have a debt to repay!”

 “The irony is that Ian Wienburg was part of Station 3 that came to our rescue!” he said.  

Ian Wienburg joined NSRI in 1974 as a volunteer and moved up the ranks from crewman to coxswain. For many years he was part of the management committee of Station 3. 

 Ian was appointed CEO of NSRI in 1994. Well known for his unconventional approach he has chosen to step back and invite new blood into the organisation.  

 “The first day of spring seems the ideal day for a spring clean and new direction,” said Ian. 

  “With my new role in Sea Rescue I hope to have a little more time to pursue my passion for sailing,” says Ian.

 NSRI is run by 941 highly skilled, unpaid volunteers at 32 bases around the coast and on 3 inland dams.  Donations, bequests and sponsorships cover the annual running cost of R25m.   The volunteers save NSRI a salary bill in excess of R250m per annum.  NSRI began in 1967 – as a humanitarian service, at no charge to the public. 

 NSRI is manned by 980 volunteers at 32 bases around the coast and on 3 inland dams.  Donations, bequests and sponsorships cover the annual running cost of R25m. The volunteers save NSRI a salary bill in excess of R250m per annum. NSRI began in 1967 as a humanitarian service, at no charge to the public. To donate R10, SMS your name (and the rescue base you would like to support) to 38770 (R10/SMS)

Mission: Saving Lives on South African Waters

(edited)
All articles edited or written, all photos taken plus all adverts designed by the Editor and printed in the St Francis Chronicle are protected by the law of Copyright ©. Reproduction or copying of any part of the contents of this newspaper and its concept and design can only be done with the Editor’s written permission.

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