The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) has made headlines this week with the announcement that they will be embarking on a nationwide project to start a drowning register. Although this may sound like a rather grim undertaking, over 2,000 people drown in South Africa each year and it is believed that this project will provide an up-to-date and real reflection of the problem.
NSRI Chief Executive Cleeve Robertson said, “We don’t have accurate current data, but we estimate that more than 2,000 adults and children die in water every year in South Africa.”
Meriel Bartlett, an NSRI executive director added, “If we can understand the worst areas for drownings, we can better understand how to address the problem.”
A high number of drownings occur in the 9 – 14 year age group and the NSRI currently runs a training programme, the Water-Wise Academy, targeting water safety issues in classrooms across the country. The programme was started in 2006 and has reached over 700,000 children thus far, primarily in under privileged areas.
Bartlett believes that the programme should be a permanent part of the school curriculum.
The beloved navy dog Just Nuisance is soon to be honoured in both a new book and a full length feature film. According to the press, a film about the legendary British Royal Navy dog will soon begin shooting in South Africa. All proceeds from the film will go to local charities and youth groups.
The launch of the book, Able Seaman Just Nuisance, will take place at the Simon’s Town Museum this weekend. According to Sherri Rowe of Dumb Dog Productions, “Our relationship with the Simon’s Town Museum and their staff adds an authentic dimension to the film. The museum has on exhibit his original collar, enlistment papers and much more. We are tremendously excited to bring this project to fruition.”