Redningsbåd i gamle dage

The Search and Rescue in Vedersø

Photo: Presse

The Vedersø Search and Rescue consisted of twelve brave men. The North Sea is full of trickery waters and many ships have stranded here through the years. Therefore, Search and Rescue teams arose in many places along the Danish West Coast; including Vedersø.

The Vedersø Search and Rescue consisted of twelve brave men. Ten of them manned the oars, one manned the rudder and the final crewmember manned the tug winch. The work was hard and the pay was modest and therefore it was not money that was the motivation for these courageous men; it was the chance to help people in need from a meaningless death in the surf that attracted them.

The Event of the Year

The oar-powered rescue boat was housed in the Search and Rescue building at Vedersø Klit Badehotel 400 metres from the North Sea. At the annual rescue drills, eight to ten large horses pulled the boat across the dunes to the beach where the three ton heavy boat was lifted into the water by the rescue crew; it was an impressive feat that attracted many visitors as well as locals.

The First Dannebrogs-Man in Vedersø

On a daily basis the Search and Rescue service was maintained by beach watchmen. Along the rescue path there were two telegraph posts; the beach watchmen would walk the nine kilometres between these two posts and report back to the Search and Rescue building. A couple of the watchmen in Vedersø are worth mentioning here: Jørgen Sørensen and his son Jens. As most others in this area Jørgen Sørensen was a farmer and a fisherman and he also worked as a Search and Rescue crewman for 35 years; after many years of dedicated service he obtained the honour of being appointed a man of Dannebrog on the rescue boat by the Royal Danish Court.

The Youngest Search and Rescue Crewmember

Jørgen’s son Jens Sørensen took over his father’s honourable work when he was 19 years old. Jens was the youngest man ever to be trusted the job as a Search and Rescue crewman and in his 40 years with the Search and Rescue team he helped rescue between 40 and 50 people in the North Sea. The local Search and Rescue no longer exists but the old Search and Rescue building still stands next to the hotel.