CIRCULAR: 174/20


TO:                   The Provincial/ District Chairman

The Provincial/ District Offices for onward distribution to Clubs

Lifesaving Eastern Cape Club Chairman and Secretaries

                        Associate Members


CC:                  The President, Vice President and Members of the Management Board, Directors

                        ILS Sport Commission Secretary – Jelle Meintsma, General Manager and LSA Staff


Date:                14th December 2020                  


Subject:           Motorized Rescue Craft


The Lifesaving Advisory Board (LAB) wishes to advise all clubs on the requirements for the use of Motorized Rescue Craft and changes made to PPE requirements as per resolutions taken at the LAB meeting 3rd December 2020 and approved at the Management Board meeting 5th December 2020.


1.         Registration and Certificate of Fitness.

As per the South African Maritime Authority (SAMSA) all Inflatable Rescue Boats (IRB) and Jet skis must be registered with SAMSA and must be certified as fit for the designated use.


SAMSA Marine Circular 5 of 2015 stipulates the following:

LSA rescue boats are considered to be operating as commercial vessels, since they offer a public lifesaving service and are thus not used solely for sport or recreation. Legislation dictates that all commercial vessels must be issued a license and be surveyed annually for the issue of a Local General Safety Certificate.


Generally, it is required that boats comply fully with the relevant regulations, in this case the Merchant Shipping (National Small Vessel Safety) Regulations 2007 as amended. However, in some cases the specific operation of certain boats makes a departure from the normal regulations necessary and this is allowed by regulation 32.


LSA has a longstanding exemption from carrying certain items of safety equipment. The exempted items are:


Suitable sea-anchor

Patent anchor rope and chain

Watertight capsize bottle

Emergency Steering

Air-Bellows pumps


Please note the following safety equipment must be present on all IRB’s

Kill Switch

Built-in Buoyancy

Hatch Covers, where appliable

Tow rope

Personal Floatation Devices (PFD)

2 Oars or Paddles

Capsize Rope

All Life Jackets, buoyancy aids, oars, paddles are to be permanently marked with the vessel or club name.


The following to be available in the club or at launch site:

Fire Extinguishers (one per engine)

First Aid Kit


Tools including Air Bellows pumps.


The following safety equipment must be present on all Jet ski’s

SAMSA approved Buoyancy Aid

Tow Rope


2.         Crewmen and Skipper Certification Equivalency.

Lifesaving South Africa’s Crewman and Skipper’s Certificates as per the LSA IRB Manual of Instruction have been granted equivalency to the SAMSA Category E and R Certificates of Competence. As per Marine Notice 5 of 2015.


Application is to be made through LSA head office on the prescribed forms.


Training Standard

LSA Award

LSA Requirements

SAMSA Certification

Unit 1

Assist as a Lifeguarding crewman in undertaking aquatic rescues from a motorized rescue craft

IRB Crewman

1. >16 Years old

2. Lifeguard award

3. Swim test (Retest)

4. 10 hours crewing in


5. LSA exam

The IRB Crewman award is approved as Safety Induction Training.

Unit 2

Maintain and operate a

motorized rescue craft in the aquatic zone

IRB Driver (Now Skippers)

1. >18 Years Old

2. Swim test (Retest)

3. Crewman award

4. 10 Hours driving in


5. LSA exam

Safety Induction Training and

Day Skipper Category E <9m



All LSA members that hold the IRB CREWMAN’S Award are deemed to have completed an approved safety induction training course suitable for their service on board boats owned or operated by LSA.


The completed and signed IRB Examiner work card and the LSA IRB CREWMAN’S award are hereby recognized certificates for SAFETY INDUCTION TRAINING as required in the regulations.


Clubs are to ensure that adequate records are maintained to ensure compliance for their crew.



Existing LSA members that have previously completed the IRB DRIVER’S Award and the SAMSA approved skipper examination can apply to their nearest SAMSA office for the issue of a national skipper certificate using the application form supplied in annex 6.


Candidates that are assessed in terms of this circular as being competent using the IRB examiner work card may act as skipper of a LSA rescue boat for a period of one year while waiting for their original certificates to be issued by SAMSA and the LSA office.


Applications for the SAMSA certificate of competency must be directed to the local SAMSA office using the attached application form. The nature of practical inland water/sea service training will determine whether candidates are issued Skipper Inland Waters or Day Skipper Category E <9m certificates. ( i.e. Inland water training will result in a Skipper Inland Waters certificate and sea service will result in a Day Skipper Category E <9m certificate.)


3.         Crewmen and Skipper Operations.

IRB’s and Jet Ski’s operated by the club or club members under the auspices of the club may only be operated by certified Skippers for which a certified copy of their SAMSA Skipper Certificate must be available or displayed in the club, along with their contact details.

IRB and Jet Ski’s operated by the club or club members under the auspices of the club may only be crewed by certified LSA Crewmen, or a Crewman undergoing training and under the guidance of their Certified Instructor.

4.         Crewmen and Skipper Personal Protection Equipment

As amended by LAB resolution.


1.              The Skipper must wear a lifejacket and helmet

2.              The Crewman of the IRB must have a lifejacket present on the IRB, either worn or stowed.



1.              The Skipper must wear a lifejacket and helmet

2.              The Crewman of the IRB must wear a wetsuit, lifejacket or approved buoyancy aid.

3.              The crewman must carry a rescue tube with the harness correctly worn over the shoulder and across the chest.

4.              The wearing of helmets by crewman is advised.


Lifejacket to be of a make that allows freedom of movement and easy removal.


5.         Skipper Retesting

LSA certified Skippers are required to undergo annual retests as per the protocols laid out in the IRB Instruction Manual. All current skippers are to attend an update before the end of March 2021 and a retest at the earliest opportunity thereafter.

Skippers with more than 10hours of in boat duty during the period under review must attend the update but do not need to be assessed.

Skippers with less than 10hours of in boat duty must attend the update and be retested.


1)             All IRB drivers must do an annual IRB driver’s retest in order to hold their status as current drivers.

2)             The Drivers must have passed their current annual Lifeguard Award retest before doing the IRB Driver’s retest (the driver must produce proof to the IRB Examiners)

Dispensation for the retest may be granted to Skippers with 10 hours or more of recorded driving through the period 1 September 2019 to 31 December 2020. Proof of driving time to be validated by the submission of copies of the IRB Log Sheets.

Previous dispensation granted to IRB Skippers are to be recorded on the assessment work card for the individuals concerned.


Yours faithfully

(No signature – electronic document)

Melvyn Shaw

Director: Lifesaving


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