The tradition of vessels responding to distress situations at sea is part of the cultural fabric and, in many cases, the law for most maritime nations. Citizens of maritime communities interact daily with their coastal environment for work and recreation. Their detailed local knowledge, when combined with proven rescue skills, provides an efficient, quick response for those in need on the water.
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is the largest charity that saves lives at sea around the coasts of the UK, the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man as well as on some inland waterways. Founded in 1824, the RNLI was granted Royal Charter in 1860 and is a charity in the UK and Republic of Irelanda and is principally funded by legacies and donations with most lifeboat crew members being unpaid volunteers. Crews rescued on average 22 people a day in 2015.
The Royal Netherlands Sea Rescue Institution (Dutch abbreviation: KNRM) is the voluntary organization in the Netherlands tasked with saving lives at sea. It maintains 39 lifeboat stations along the Dutch coast of the North Sea and Wadden Sea and on the IJsselmeer. The KNRM had its origins in regional rescue associations which were founded in 1824. Between 1824 and 2006, they answered 36358 distress calls and saved 79887 people out of distress situations. Yearly they have about 1700 distress calls with about 3500 people saved (2008). Like the comparable RNLI and the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service, the KNRM is entirely financed by private donations.
Inspired by the British RNLI, the Norwegian Society for Sea Rescue (NSSR) was founded by the Kristiania Kjøbmannsforening (Kristiania Merchant’s Association) in Kristiania (now Oslo) July 9th 1891, with the goal of increasing safety at sea by rescuing lives and property. The first rescue boat went into service in 1893. The NSSR conducts around 6000 assistance missions and rescues on average 30 lives per year.
The Societe Nationale de Sauvetage en Mer (SNSM) is a French voluntary organisation founded in 1967 by merging the Societe Centrale de Sauvetage des Naufrages (founded in 1865) and the Hospitaliers Sauveteurs Bretons (1873). Its task is saving lives at sea around the French coast, including the overseas departments and territories. In 2009 the SNSM was responsible for about half of all sea rescue operations and saved 5,400 lives in 2816 call-outs and assisted 2140 boats in distress. 65% of funding comes from the private sector (donations, bequests and sponsorship) and 35% comes from the national government, the regions, the departments and the local communities.
The German Maritime Search and Rescue Service (DGzRS) is responsible for Search and Rescue in German territorial waters in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, including the Exclusive Economic Zone. It was founded in Kiel on 29 May 1865. It owns 61 lifeboats at 54 stations which are operated by 185 employed crew members and 800 volunteers. In 2004 it saved 368 lives, rescued 837 persons from critical situations and carried out 343 medical transports. The DGzRS is entirely financed by membership fees, private donations and legacies.
The Deutsche Lebens-Rettungs-Gesellschaft e.V. (DLRG) is the largest voluntary water rescue organization in the world, with almost 560,000 members in approximately 2,100 local groups. (DLRG website, in German)
One of the 3 last independent charitable lifeboat stations left in Western Australia after the others came under the government FESA umbrella (some coerced, some voluntarily), the group and the other two still face government pressure to be nationalized.
VMRAQ has 25 affiliated Squadrons located throughout the State of Queensland, Australia and these Squadrons provide marine search and rescue services to the boating public on a volunteer basis.
SLSNZ is the national association representing the 73 Surf Life Saving "clubs" in New Zealand and their 15,000 members. In New Zealand, surf lifesaving is both a sport and a community service. To participate in either facet it is necessary to be a member of a "club", and to have at least the ‘entry level’ qualification (Surf Lifeguard Award). SLSNZ clubs provide both on-beach lifeguards and small-craft water-rescue patrols.
There are 10 squadrons whose coverage areas overlap to cover a great part of Georgia and South Carolina
In Canada, the participation of volunteers in marine rescue pre-dates Confederation. A loose network of unpaid rescue agents reported incidents and organized searches for overdue vessels. By the nineteen seventies, it became clear that a formal volunteer network was needed to provide a more effective response to marine incidents and implement a wider safety net for mariners. The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary was formed in 1978-79 in an effort to enhance search and rescue coverage and capability, and to better coordinate volunteer efforts. The organization has been saving lives ever since.
Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue is a volunteer based organization that operates more than 30 marine rescue stations on the British Columbia coast and in the B.C. Interior. The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary -Pacific rebranded to Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue in May 2012 to reiterate the fact that we are a non profit organization and our crews are all volunteers.
Japanese waters are patrolled by the coast guard, and many rescue missions are left to the country’s close-knit fishing communities, who possess vital knowledge of their local coastlines, but often lack specially designed rescue craft.
Nebama Bay is undergoing reconstruction after the 2011 Tsunami (60 km NE of Fukushima) and there are currently no buildings or services. Considering these conditions, students from Atlantic College have designed a "Lifeboat in a Box" to include everything that is needed to operate as Lifeboat station; crew room, workshop and space for the boat to be immediately deployed from the end.
The International Life Saving Federation (ILS) is the world authority for drowning prevention, lifesaving and lifesaving sport. ILS leads, supports and collaborates with national and international organisations engaged in drowning prevention, water safety, water rescue, lifesaving, lifeguarding and lifesaving sport.
Upcoming: World Conference on Drowning Prevention 2017, October 17-19, 2017, Vancouver, BC, Canada, a bi-annual conference that brings together the world's foremost experts, research, systems and information on drowning prevention, rescue, lifesaving and water safety.
Banner photo: By Dickelbers (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
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Backwater Boats (aka Fritz's Boat Page)
Author/Contact: Fritz Funk (fritzfunk.io) source file last modified: Apr/19/2017 at 13:11 compiled-GTML: Apr/19/2017 at 13:12