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The Norwegian Society for Sea Rescue, known as Redningsselskapet, is a humanitarian organisation dedicated to looking after Norwegian waters, from saving human lives to salvaging assets and protecting the coastal environment. Redningsselskapet also undertakes accident prevention initiatives and outreach programmes to initiate safety improvements for those at sea both around Norway and further afield. You can discover some of the facts and figures for the work of Redningsselskapet in 2017 via the infographic attachment.

Redningsselskapet is crewed by volunteers and participates in fundraising activities to provide funding for vital life-saving activities. Ragnar Horn is a financial supporter of Redningsselskapet, following in the footsteps of his father, Hans Herman Horn, who is an honorary member of the organisation.

None Shall Drown

The vision of Redningsselskapet is ‘None Shall Drown’, putting the saving of lives at the core of the organisation’s work. Since the first Redningsselskapet rescue boat launched way back in 1893, this has been the underlying philosophy of the voluntary teams. In 125 years of existence, Redningsselskapet has saved more than 6,400 human lives. However, the goal is far from reached, with approximately 100 people each year drowning off the coast of Norway. The Redningsselskapet team works in many ways to improve safety at sea, including the training of 30,000 young people every year in seamanship and good boating skills. Redningsselskapet has 51 rescue vessels crewed by 1,500 trained volunteers, working across Norway and in international waters.

The Hellenic Rescue Team

Redningsselskapet works in partnership with the Hellenic Rescue Team based in Greece, which has 15 sea rescue bases staffed by around 700 volunteers. Although the organisation has a large number of volunteers, a lack of resources means that it is not able to work to full capacity. The sea route between Greece and Turkey is unpredictable and the lack of equipment and rescue vessels means that the Hellenic Rescue Team is often unable to make the necessary sea rescues. To assist this sister organisation, Redningsselskapet works to help train volunteers in areas such as search and rescue, first aid, vessel handling and communications. Redningsselskapet has also contributed to the Hellenic Rescue Team a RIB (rigid inflatable boat) financed through fundraising efforts.

In the PDF attachment you can find out more about the International Maritime Rescue Federation.

Operation Poseidon

The Frontex operation Poseidon provides search and rescue services in the Mediterranean waters between the Greek island of Lesvos and the coast of Turkey. To help operation Poseidon, in 2015 Redningsselskapet offered a rescue boat to European and Norwegian governments. The vessel, named Peter Henry von Koss, was launched on the 26th of July of that year into the rescue mission. This mission operates both search and rescue and border monitoring services, with the Norwegian contribution under the operational responsibility of the NCIS, or Norwegian Criminal Investigation Service. The crews manning the vessel include representatives from Redningsselskapet, along with those of the Greek authorities and the Norwegian police. Peter Henry von Koss is equipped with a rescue scooter, life boat and additional rafts that can fit up to 150 individuals. Operation Poseidon was in place between 2015 and the summer of 2016.

Funding for Redningsselskapet

Redningsselskapet is funded through voluntary means, with donations coming from fundraising activities and donations from the public, member income, tip funds, operational revenues, and a contribution of 93.5 million NOK from the Norwegian government. With this funding, Redningsselskapet can save lives and values to the tune of approximately 2 billion NOK per year. In the short video attachment you can learn more about lifeboat operational work at Redningsselskapet.