The first of the NSRI’s new fleet of Offshore Rescue Craft (ORC), stopped briefly in the Knysna lagoon today while en-route to it’s new home in Durban. The new 14m state of the art rescue boat “Alick Renie” (Rescue 5) was constructed in France alongside the 2nd vessel, the “Donna Nicholas” (Rescue 10), which will be based in Simons Town once completed.
Rescue 5 rendezvoused offshore with rescue craft from Knysna NSRI Station 12 and then entered the Knysna Heads under the guidance of Graeme Harding, a long time Knysna Resident and past Station Commander of NSRI Knysna. After a brief stop for a breakfast sandwich and an opportunity for our local NSRI volunteers to view the fine vessel, she continued on her way to Port Elizabeth where the crew will spend the night before continuing to her new home in Durban.
These new hi-tech rescue craft, which were designed by naval architects Pantocarene and manufactured by Bernard Shipyard in France, are powered by reliable diesel engines and fitted with the latest in electronics technology. Rescue 5 is the first new vessel in the fleet that will replace the NSRI’s aging 10m & 12m rescue vessels stationed around the coast. Although the first vessel was constructed in France, the next 6 rescue craft will be built in Cape Town by Two Oceans Marine, thus supporting the South African boat building industry, creating jobs and further developing skills of local workers, particularly in the composite boat building industry.
Article and photos by Mike O’Neill