Visitvesterhavet
Havsnød fortællinger

Risking Their Lives

Rescuers go to the boats no matter how high the waves are.
They did so in the past.

During a rescue operation in 1951, five men drowned. The rescuers knew that they were taking a risk, but when someone needs help you do your best! Even when you are putting your own life at stake!
One of the biggest drowning accidents occurred in Hvide Sande on 9th December 1951 when five men drowned and only three survived.  

The accident happened when rescuers were towing a wrecked fishing boat home. The towing equipment between the wrecked ship and the rescue boat snapped and the rescue boat tipped over. This happened so close to land that people could follow the dramatic events from the harbour. Children became fatherless and women were widowed due to this accident. 

50 years later at a memorial, a former rescuer asked the question: 'Were the efforts made in vain?' 
The general opinion was that the efforts were not in vain; the fear of not doing your best is something that is known to all rescuers, and the rescuers at the time did all they could. They took responsibility for other peoples lives and for the community, even though they knew that the risk was great. They never doubted whether they were doing the right thing. 

This accident is similar to other drowning accidents along the west coast and it reminds people of the thin line between life and death. Every time there is a ship wreck, which still occurs in bad weather, people ask themselves whether the effort was necessary; every time the answer is yes! If people are about to be lost at sea, you try to help the best you can!