The majority of all sea rescues in Sweden are performed by volunteers at the Swedish Sea Rescue Society. Trusting their equipment is a prerequisite for them to be able to save lives at sea in an efficient way. By having waterjet as propulsion system, they can easily maneuver their boats in a safe way, reach locations on shallow waters and spend less time on service and maintenance, allowing them to focus on their main mission.
Zero fatalities at sea – the Swedish Sea Rescue Society’s vision
Founded in 1907, the Swedish Sea Rescue Society started their mission of saving lives at sea. The 2300 volunteers are divided into 72 rescue stations located along the Swedish coast and on the major lakes. With the help of some 250 rescue boats, they are responsible for 80 percent of all sea rescues in Sweden. In addition to offering sea rescue during emergencies, they also work hard to prevent accidents from happening by offering assistance in the event of, for example, engine breakdowns and damaged rudders. With no government funding, the organization is financed by membership fees, donations, and voluntary work. The sea rescue volunteers go out in all weathers, day and night, all year round. In 2018, the rescue boats were called out 7500 times, where 1200 alarms were emergencies.
“Our main goal is to have reliable equipment that does not break”
It is of the utmost importance that the rescue boats are safe and reliable, both for the Swedish Sea Rescue Society’s crew as for the ones in need of assistance. Per-Egon Persson, responsible for new constructions at the Swedish Sea Rescue Society explains:
“When our rescue staff go out on rescue missions in really rough weather, with high seas, sometimes in the middle of the night, they must be able to trust that the boats and their equipment do not let them down. In addition, we have a promise to our donors that the rescue boats will last for at least 25 years. Therefore, our main goal is to have reliable equipment that does not break. As we are completely dependent on membership fees and donations to exist, we do as much service and maintenance as we can ourselves. Thus, our equipment must be easy to handle and require low maintenance. Less time spent on our equipment allows us to focus on our core activities such as supporting and training our volunteers, giving them the best prerequisites to perform sea rescues in a safe and effective way.”
Waterjet offers excellent maneuverability and requires minimal service
The major part of the rescue fleet belonging to the Swedish Sea Rescue Society use waterjet as propulsion system. They use four different sizes of waterjets to fit their whole fleet of boats, from rescue runners at 3,6 meters to rescue boats at 20 meters. They see many advantages of using waterjet as propulsion solution.
“We use waterjet for the excellent maneuverability as well as for the minimized risk of injuries for people laying in the water due to the lack of protruding propellers underneath the boats. A waterjet has high efficiency when it comes to maneuverability which allows us to, for example, move sideways, spin around our own axis, and keep the boat still in a way that never can be achieved with a regular propeller system. In addition, it is a simple solution with few moving parts, which makes it easy for us to perform service and maintenance ourselves when needed”, says Per-Egon Persson from the Swedish Sea Rescue Society.
Volvo Penta delivers reliable and safe engines to sea rescue boats
The requirements the Swedish Sea Rescue Society have on their propulsion system is more or less the same as they have for their engines – they need to be reliable, have low maintenance and be sustainable to last for many years.
“Our engines are often run in rough ways at full throttle for long periods of time, at high speeds and with fast accelerations. We have a tough attitude towards our engine suppliers as we try different options and will not settle until we find a suitable solution for us. Some of our boats are powered with Volvo Penta engines, and they work really well. We have a really good cooperation with Volvo Penta as we have a tight dialogue where we solve potential problems together”, explains Per-Egon Persson from the Swedish Sea Rescue Society.
Volvo Penta is proud to deliver reliable and robust engines to the Swedish Sea Rescue Society. Aside from contributing to saving lives, which is a true honor for us, we are also happy for our successful cooperation where the Swedish Sea Rescue Society can spend less time on maintaining their equipment and focus more on saving lives at sea.