Caller Debbie spoke to John Maytham about how NSRI life lifebuoys are being stolen from Cape beaches and dams. She says how she lost her own son to drowning which may have been prevented if a lifebuoy had been on hand.
Who steals these life-saving devices one has to wonder?
It breaks my heart because I think our society is seriously lacking in moral fibre.— Debbie, caller
She says cameras in Richard's Bay caught a group of seemingly drunk students stealing a lifebuoy and it was subsequently returned.
Someone said to me, children are children, but truly if a parent sees a lifebuoy in a child's room, don't you take it back? These can save lives. I'm so distressed about it.— Debbie, caller
The NSRI's drowning prevention officer Andrew Ingram spoke to John and said some 18% of buoys are lost through stealing.
He says 17 people have been saved by buoys.
He says they have identified two groups who remove the buoys. One would be children who take them as toys. The other group is young men who take them during seemingly drunken pranks.
He talks about the need for community buy-in to campaign around the importance of these buoys in saving lives.
Take a listen to the conversation below: