Four members of the Norwegian Red Cross Water Rescue Service visit Hayling
Four members of the Norwegian Red Cross Water Rescue Service visited Hayling to learn about how the RNLI work with water rescues and how they organise training.
The quartet are members of their Water Rescue Resource Group which is responsible for developing working methods and training. They have a high number of volunteers relative to the Norwegian population (5.2 million) having some 300 teams manning 150 lifeboats. This compares to the RNLI having 238 stations 408 lifeboats for the UK’s 67 million people. Another big difference is that during the summer and at special times such as the lobster season, crews live at the base, whereas across the RNLI we have very few crews living at the station.
Like the RNLI they fundraise and get donations in a variety of ways but 25% of their income comes from the government. The response time for the RNLI crews aims to be less than 10 minutes from the first call. In Norway with the crews living at the base in Spring/Summer their response time is 5 minutes but in the winter, with large areas of inland water frozen and no crews living at the base the response time is 30 minutes.
Both organisations are dedicated to saving lives from drowning and with 370,000 lives lost worldwide both our teams of volunteers provide an essential service.