The National Sea-and-Sand Institute came to being in 1971 in Hermanus in the South Western Cape.
The main aim was to train the youth as life-guards to do duty on the country’s beaches. Since then more than 10 000 students qualified successfully as life-savers who have been involved in some 15 000 recorded rescue operations. In the past December holiday season alone Sea-and-Sand life-guards on 18 Overstrand beaches rescued 274 bathers in trouble.

The institute’s headquarters are situated on 1,8 ha of land on the shores of the Klein River lagoon. There are 10 accommodation units, presently being upgraded with double bunks and electricity, ablution facilities, a kitchen, lecture hall and small office building.
Expanded to also include the Institute of Pre-adults and OGASA (Ocean Guides Association of South Africa). Young people from all over South Africa arrive each January to receive training in all aspects regarding the coastal zone, self-discipline, responsibility, moral and ethical values, physical and psychological fitness, entrepreneurship and financial independence.
From the end of April to September the second leg of the course – Campus on Wheels – starts along the Transkei coast and continues in Lesotho, Mozambique, Botswana, Zimbabwe and the Limpopo River valley.
Furthermore pilots in the SA Air Force and members of the SA Navy regularly undergo tough Sea-and-Sand survival courses. Numerous letters of high-ranking officers in the Defence Force have been received over the years in which appreciation has been expressed for the work the institute does.
OGASA courses are held throughout the year.
Future plans resolve around securing funding for extending the base as a unique outdoor training facility for the youth. In this regard the building of a hall, a sports field and an eating facility are envisaged.
Apart from the Hermanus Rotary Club, Sea-and-Sand with its 38-year existence is the oldest service organisation in Hermanus. The institute is an incorporated organisation not for gain (No 79/03925/08) and was registered earlier this year by the SA Revenue Services as a Public Benefit Organisation (No 930 029 293), which means that donations to the institute are exempt from income tax or estate duty.
Over the last decades the institute has given vast exposure to Hermanus and her unique beauty through countless newspaper and magazine articles, radio interviews and TV programmes. It is in this spirit that Sea-and-Sand wishes to continue its activities.
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