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The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) is the emergency service that is called when anyone is in trouble at sea on the coast of South Africa. The NSRI is a charity that has over one thousand unpaid volunteers who respond 24/7/365 to save lives on South African waters. They also teach children in disadvantaged communities about basic water safety through their educational initiative, the WaterWise Academy.

Cat phones South Africa spoke to Cape Town NSRI representatives, Bruce Davidson and Paula Leech about how they use their Cat rugged smartphones in their work.

How many Cat rugged smartphones do you currently use?

At the moment, the teams have roughly 50 company cell phones – of those 36 of them are Cat rugged smartphones. Each rescue base is allocated an “Emergency Phone” which are all Cat phones. They started off with the Cat B15Q and when the contracts came up for renewal they moved to the Cat S30.  They are currently considering moving to the Cat S40 when their contract renewals come up again.

The number attached to it is listed on the website, so it is essential the phone is always near to the team on call.

What are your favourite features of the Cat phones?

The NSRI chose the Cat rugged smartphones for theirIP68 rating and because they are durable and hard-wearing. In our environment, we need a tough phone that’s not going to break when dropped. When you’re busy on a beach rescue and are running up and down it doesn’t matter when it gets dropped in the sand or submerged when going through surf. It gets rinsed off in fresh water and it’s ready for the next rescue. The other feature that’s great is that it is loud when you put it on speaker phone mode. When both hands are busy on the boat, that can be a bonus.

Paula added that her personal phone is a Cat S60 rugged smartphone, and she loves that it’s waterproof and durable: “I’ve dropped it a few times on concrete floors and not a scratch. I’ve been on many rescues on the boat in stormy conditions, taking photos and video in the pouring rain and the phone still keeps going.”

What else can you share about Cat rugged smartphones in the NSRI’s work

Most of the donations we receive are from members of the public – people who truly believe in the work we do. We keep that awareness going by putting the stories of our rescues on our website and social media channels. Those stories wouldn’t be the same if we didn’t include pictures and video. Having the Cat phone on the rescue boat during a rescue allows us to capture those moments and share those stories.

Have you got a ‘Saving Lives on Water’ Story to share with us? Get in touch:

For more information on Cat rugged smartphones, please go to:

Cat phones are available on contract through all South African mobile operators, and on the FNB device store.

If you would like to donate to the NSRI, there are many ways in which you can do this, take a look at their website:

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