Norwegian Society for Sea Rescue

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House flag
RS 103 Dagfinn Paust, Andenes Harbour 2004
Veteran rescueship Biskop Hvoslef

The Norwegian Society for Sea Rescue (Norwegian: Redningsselskapet or Norsk Selskab til Skibbrudnes Redning) was founded on 9 July 1891. The purpose of the organisation is to save lives and property at sea.

Overview[edit]

The first rescue boat went into service in 1893, and in 1894 the Colin Archer saved 37 lives in a storm off the coast of Finnmark.

Today, there are 43 vessels continuously manned and on standby along the coast of Norway. The society has about 6000 engagements every year.

13 of the 43 boats are operated by volunteers, two of these volunteer boats are based on Norway's two biggest lakes: Mjøsa and Femunden. The rest of the boats are manned by a professional crew who live and work onboard on a 28 day rotation.

Erik Bye was a significant donor to the organization, and in 1960 he raised the funds for a new rescue ship, Skomvær II, that was named after the historic barque Skomvær in Bye's hit song "Skomværvalsen."

The society's official mascot is Elias the Little Rescue Boat, who is the main character of an animated series shown on national television. Elias is used by local chapters of the society to teach children about safety at sea. Affiliated merchandise and children's clubs are also promoted. Elias has been nominated as one of the best children's TV series in the Emmy Awards.

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