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New NSRI base almost completed

The site where the new NSRI Hermanus base is being constructed in the New Harbour is a hive of activity with construction work nearing completion.

Megan Hughes of the NSRI’s communication department reports that the project is currently at a very advanced stage with the primary structures and roof almost complete.

She added: “We are in the process of casting the concrete floors in the boathouse to enable the concrete to cure over the builders’ break in December.”

The next step, says Hughes, is the water reticulation (including harvesting of rain water and recycling of used water), installation and commissioning of plumbing and electrical fittings, steelwork, balustrades and stairs.

“We will then move on to painting, plastering and tiling, joinery and cupboards. The large boathouse doors are expected to be installed towards the end of January, with the building’s practical completion scheduled for the last week in February,” said Hughes.

Hughes explained that the decision to demolish and rebuild the Hermanus base was taken because the previous building was too small to accommodate the new rescue vessel which is expected to be delivered at the end of 2020 or early 2021.

The project to replace the old base with a larger and more modern facility started earlier this year when the old base was demolished. The project has an estimated cost of approximately R11 million. Willem de Waal, the project manager, reported that the project got off to a rocky start as a substantial amount of rock had to be excavated to create a bigger space for the new base. The site was then handed over to the contractor on 1 April.

The new base will have a radio control room, shower ablutions, a training room and a small social area with a kitchen. It will be able to accommodate a new larger rescue vessel on its cradle as well as smaller craft, a small tractor and a 4x4 vehicle.

The Hermanus NSRI crew have been operating from a temporary base consisting of three shipping containers which was erected adjacent to the Hermanus Ski Club. Small rescue vessels are stored at this temporary facility, the 10m Breede Class all-weather lifeboat is on a cradle on the slipway. The NSRI has given the assurance that rescue operations will in no way be affected during construction.

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