The busiest summer ever for SAR

SAR Sea Rescue Company Norway Tall Ships RacesRescue vessel Christiania is not longer in use by SAR. Tall Ships Races 2018. Photo: Pieter Wijnen

The busiest summer ever for the sea Rescue Company (SAR)

Never before have the sea rescue vessels of SAR had to launch rescue missions so frequently during a single summer. Most are running aground in Vestfold.


The 2018 summer has been characterized by good weather and high activity on the sea. It is well-known for the rescue company’s 51 rescue vessels. Compared to 2017, the figures show an increase of 17 per cent, which translates into 510 missions.

-All assignments have a clear connection with how the density of boats is distributed along the coast. Around the Oslofjord, it has really been a challenging summer with many missions, while boaters in the northernmost counties hardly have used us, says, emergency preparedness manager in Redningsselskapet (SAR), Ronny Jåsund-Pedersen. 

251 groundings

Most of the groundings have been in Vestfold, where the rescue vessels have assisted 53 boats during the summer.

Many have grounded this summer. 251 boats have been in need of assistance from the rescue vessels during the period May to July to get off reefs and shallows.

Most of the groundings have been in Vestfold, where the rescue vessels have assisted 53 boats during the summer. Østfold is the next on the list of 48 grounded boats receiving help during the summer. Very few groundings have been reported in Finnmark where only 2 boats have been helped by the rescue boats after being grounded.

The Oslo Fjord alone accounts for 50 per cent of the assignments
During last year, SAR deployed two more rescue vessels in the Oslo Fjord. This summer has shown that it was a correct decision.

-The new rescue vessels in Horten and Skjeberg have helped out on the most hectic days. These two rescue vessels alone have solved 163 sorties this summer, says Jåsund-Pedersen.

Knowledge and attitude

In spite of a hectic summer, luckily there have been few of the worst accidents. The Rescue vessels have saved 23 lives, rescued 41 boats from shipwrecking and participated in 708 search and rescue missions. In total, almost 3,200 boats have been in need of assistance.

-It is important that the individual has a conscious relationship to the risk and safety associated with travelling on the sea. The individual must acquire knowledge of how to navigate on the sea and know his own boat well, in order to avoid potentially dangerous situations, says Jåsund-Pedersen.

List of assignments grouped by county for May 1st to July 31st, 2018

CountyMissions, totalLives savedS&R missionsVessels salvagedVessels assistedGroundingsEngine failures
Møre and Romsdal17822721561099
Sogn and Fjordane69010066427
Buskerud  & Akershus642175259833411
Hedmark and Oppland5307351430

42 drowned this summer

42 people have drowned in Norway since May 1st this year, according to the Norwegian Rescue Company (SAR)

The Norwegian Rescue Company (SAR) has had a total of 3,496 rescue missions, the highest number ever since the company was founded in 1891. A total of 68 people have died in drowning accidents so far this year. There are 19 more than at the same time last year, according to figures from SAR.

– Every life counts, so this is critical. Many of these lives could be saved with better knowledge and attitude towards life at sea and boating in general. It makes me despair, says Secretary-General of the Rescue Company, Rikke Lind to NTB.

16 people died as a result of drowning in July alone. Eleven men, three women and two girls aged 12 and 14 were among those who perished. 17 of 68 drownings so far this year are related to bathing. Last year there were only three bathing accidents in the same period. The Rescue Company now demands measures from the Government.

– This challenge I send to the Minister of Industry, Torbjørn Røe Isaksen because he is the Cabinet Minister in charge and has to show responsibility, says Lind, who calls for a zero vision for drownings in Norway, as well as introducing a compulsory speedboat certificate.



© Redningsselskapet / #Norway Today