NSRI’s spectacular sea rescue demos at Nautical Fest

By Bev Mortimer

A fire at sea, water bombs by helicopter and daring rescues of people from the icy sea by NSRI St Francis Bay crew will form part of the one of the most exciting events planned for spectators to the St Francis Bay harbour tomorrow, 26 April 2014.


The NSRI sea rescue demonstration is part of the Nautical Festival organised by St Francis Tourism that starts tomorrow. The demo takes place at the harbour mouth soon after 11 am and finishes around 12.30 pm. Spectators will be able to watch the exciting event from the harbour wall or from the balconies at the port building.

There will be two aircraft involved, two rescue boats and about 16 rescue crew members (NSRI and fire-fighting crew combined).

According to Marc May, station commander of St Francis Bay NSRI, the local NSRI has teamed up with the government’s  fire rescue services, Working on Fire (WoF)*, to put on an impressive display of fire-fighting at sea and the rescuing of people’s lives under extreme conditions.


The NSRI crew is already trained for fire-fighting and with helicopter rescues.  The teaming up of the two organisations that will work together, from now on, is a joint pooling of resources, May says. “If there is a fire, WoF will call us because of our training. And if we desperately need a helicopter when there is a boat on fire or a spotter WoF will assist us.”

During the rescue display tomorrow, the first time these two rescue bodies will be working together, there will be a raft (symbolising a chokka boat) set alight, plus helicopters dangling buckets that will scoop water out of the sea, then flying off to the correct altitude before extinguishing the fires. In addition NSRI crew in the rescue boats will rescue people by “scooping them out of the sea”, May says.

small plane at airfield


* WoF is an SA Government initiative that addresses the prevention and control of wildland fires to enhance the sustainability and protection of life, proverty and the environment through the implementation of Intergrated Fire Management (IFM) practices. 

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