The Royal Netherlands Sea Rescue Institution - KNRM
The Royal Netherlands Sea Rescue Institution (KNRM) was established in 1824 to offer help and support to seamen in emergencies – free of charge. KNRM employs professionally trained volunteers and modern lifeboats for this purpose.
KNRM lifeboats take to the water within 10 minutes after a call for help is received, whatever the weather conditions – so only the very best equipment is good enough for KNRM volunteers.
Because of the voluntary nature of their work, all volunteers are highly dedicated and committed. These are essential traits for KNRM lifeboat crews because the lifeboat stations must be ready for immediate action 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. The volunteer crew members are called in from their homes or work via a beeper system.
In addition to rescue missions, the lifeboat stations also organise weekly practice and maintenance evenings. They participate in a large number of different training programmes and courses to prepare them for their work as lifeboat crews.
KNRM Rescue Missions – Effective and Efficient SAR
The KNRM receives more than 2000 calls for emergency help and rescues more than 3000 people each year. The lifeboat crews take to the water to help casualties ranging from large tankers to sailboats, surfers and swimmers. All of the help and assistance they provide is free of charge, whatever the conditions under which it is provided and whatever the time it takes. The KNRM has evolved into one of the most effective and efficient Search And Rescue Organizations worldwide.
KNRM Now Offer Knowledge – Products and Services
The KNRM is a charity foundation that saves lives at sea in the Netherlands. Its knowledge, products and services have been developed over many years, in co-operation with world-renowned Dutch technical institutions. From the end of 2012, together with the final development of a completely new lifeboat NH 1816 Class the KNRM's management decided to start offering its resources to other parties abroad. KNRM expertise is now available for other organizations that are in the phase of starting or improving their Search and Rescue (SAR) operations.
All earnings from sales and consultancy projects will be used for funding the basic tasks of the KNRM's foundation or will be invested in further improving its SAR capabilities. It is estimated that every year, more than a million people around the world are still victims of drowning and KNRM want to help to get that number down!
How Could SAR Organizations Co-operate?
The list seems almost endless once we start to take stock of the possibilities...
IMAGE CREDIT: Koninklijke Nederlandse Redding Maatschappij (KNRM)
Neighbouring SAR organizations can make operational agreements about the most effective way of assigning material, on alerting procedures, and on standardizing terms and phraseology in communication. They can periodically evaluate SAR missions together, in order to improve their operational performance and skills and work on prevention programs.
The development of lifeboats and lifeboat electronics could be combined so that lifeboats could be built as standard craft, in higher numbers at lower prices, with shorter delivery times. The next logical step is to share boat-handling training and training facilities (such as simulators). Furthermore, knowledge of craft maintenance could be exploited to create planned and even pre-conditioned maintenance schedules, decreasing downtime.
Other safety crew equipment - immersion suits and PLB's (Personal Locator Beacons), for example - could be purchased in larger numbers at lower rates. PLB's and other safety devices could not only be bought for own purposes but also for seafarers and yachtsmen, often being members or donors of SAR organizations.
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