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The first draft for Rafnar's Nökkvi 1500 design, a rescue boat
Photo: The first draft for Rafnar’s Nökkvi 1500 design, a rescue boat.

Search-and-Rescue Fleet to be Renewed

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The search-and-rescue fleet of Landsbjörg will be renewed with boats from manufacturer Rafnar, RÚV reports. A declaration of will has been signed between the two. Rafnar will design and renew all of Landsbjörg’s search-and-rescue vessels, 13 new boats and vessels in total. The project is expected to cost around ISK two billion ($17.4 million / €15.2 million) in total.

Landsbjörg is the Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue, a national association made up of subdivisions. It’s estimated that Landsbjörg can call up to 10,000 volunteers all over the country. Boat manufacturer Rafnar specializes in boats and vessels for rough seas. Rafnar’s ÖK Hull design provides great seafaring capabilities, stabilizing the vessel and reducing wave forces. Rafnar was covered in Iceland Review magazine, with an interview with founder Össur Kristinsson. Read part of the coverage here.

Jón Svanberg Hjartason, Landsbjörg’s director, says the new boats are an important part of the nation’s safety. Some of the older rescue vessels are up to forty years old. The country’s shipping fleet has changed, as well how fisheries operate, so it’s of utmost importance to renew the search and rescue vessel fleet.

The technological development fund has agreed to fund Rafnar with ISK 70 million ($ 607,586 / € 529,000) in the next two years. Rafnar will design both 12-15 metre long lighter boats as well as 15-metre long rescue boats. A parliamentary resolution has already been agreed to strengthen Landsbjörg’s rescue fleet by up to ISK 100 million ($ 868,000 / € 756,000) from the state treasury for the next ten years. Landsbjörg will be responsible for the boats.

“We work closely with the Icelandic coast guard, and on their responsibility in search and rescue at sea, so it all plays together. This declaration of will is the first step. The project could cost up to ISK two billion and the association [Landsbjörg] cannot handle that amount by itself. But it’s a pressing issue and I think everyone realizes that response and rescues have to updated to reflect what social conditions call for”, Jón Svanberg commented.

The declaration of will states the design of the Rafnar boats will take into account Icelandic nature and situations. Rafnar and Landsbjörg will work closely together, a continuation of a working relationship which started in 2015, when Rafnar gave Landsbjörg it’s first specially designed rescue vessel. One of the greatest problems for rescue vessels is how the cut through the ocean at high speeds, which produces a great force on the ship’s hull as waves slam upon it. Rafnar’s ÖK Hull design reduces the shock force from wave slamming impact by 95%, compared to speedboats equipped with the classic hull design. The reduced slamming impact leads to fewer accidents and better health of the boats’ users.

Rafnar and its founder Össur Kristinsson were covered in the April-March, 2018, of Iceland Review. Read part of the coverage here.

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