Wimpy is a proud partner of Lifesaving SA

Life Saver Ring

We're behind
the buoys

Life Saver Ring

Wimpy is a proud partner of Lifesaving SA

Since 1913, Lifesaving SA has been keeping South African families safe. This volunteer-based initiative, which is over 4 000 members strong, rescues thousands of people every year. Through their Watersmart program, which travels to schools across the country, they’re educating children about water safety, and with their Learn to swim initiative they’re empowering the youth to safely enjoy bodies of water. The work they do is truly inspiring and that’s why Wimpy is behind the buoys.

Meet our hero
of the month

NAME

Willem van der Merwe

AGE

53

CLUB

Bluewater Bay SLC

It’s just amazing being a part of a group, a family that are always working towards the same goal, namely saving the life of a fellow human being.

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I've never been a competitor. For me it's about the act of lifesaving itself.”

How did you get into lifesaving?

My kids joined the Nippers and that’s when I decided to become a coach and later a Nipper instructor. If I didn’t have a day job, I would be doing lifesaving for a living. I love being on the beach teaching kids water skills.

So, you really love it?

I live for it, literally. Earlier this year I was booked into hospital following heart problems. It turned out that I only had 18% heart functionality, and I ended up having to stay for five weeks to get stabilised. I’ll probably go for a bypass next year. But even that doesn’t stop me. Most of my evenings and weekends are spent at the lifesaving club. I’m the Chairman of Bluewater Bay SLC. I also run their dedicated Rescue Squad – who are on standby 24 hours a day. I’ve also continued my work as Vice Chairman and Patrol Officer of Lifesaving EC and Lifesaving Nelson Mandela Bay.
I just love it.

Group Posing
Lifesaver in a Vehicle

What do you think is the most exciting development in lifesaving currently?

Firstly, I think it’s great that lifesaving is being recognised as a sport on an international level, a sport that even kids can compete in. Also, our Watersmart Program, which is teaching kids the ins and outs of water safety. In many ways it is taking the development of communities to a whole new level.

What has been your most memorable moment in lifesaving?

There have been many memorable moments. It’s just amazing being a part of a group, a family that are always working towards the same goal, namely saving the life of a fellow human being.

Lifesaving Vehicles and Banners Group Posing

Be safe,
be Watersmart

Here are some tips from our lifesaving experts to help keep you and your family safe:

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Learn how to swim. Make sure your whole family is taught how to swim by a qualified instructor.

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Never swim alone! Always have a swim buddy, or at least swim in an area patrolled by a lifeguard.

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Children should be supervised at all times. Do not leave children unattended around any body of water.

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Don’t fight the rip current. If you get caught in a rip current, never swim against it. Allow yourself to float with it and swim parallel to the shore until you’ve escaped it. Only then head for the shore.

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Don’t run around the pool. You might slip and injure yourself.

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