The rescue station in Ferring was created in 1860 as a rocket station. In 1888, a building was erected for the rocket apparatus, but it was moved in 1903 because it was too near the edge of the cliff, and was in danger of sliding into the sea. The rescue station was moved to Redningsvej 5, where it was placed next to the shore officer’s house. The building still exists, and is now part of a private residence.
The rocket apparatus was put to use just a month after the station's creation, during a storm on October 4, 1860, when the crew of the German galeas "Margrethe" was saved. The station in Ferring operated for the last time in December 1932, when rescuers helped two crew members from the ship "Johanna" of Warel ashore.
"Our hardest work came that night, when the rescue failed despite our most determined efforts” revealed Jens Fjordside, rescue officer in Ferring. He was there in 1903 when "Capella" of Arendal sank off the coast of Ferring, and all 15 crew members perished.
The great disaster of 1893
Jens Fjordside, who was out fishing on the day of “the great disaster" in 1893, said: "All boat guilds along the coast went out. From Ferring, we departed a bit late, which happened to be our salvation. [...] We agreed to give up fishing and turn homewards. We were barely halfway to the shore, when one of the severest storms I can remember came upon us." Jens Fjordside and his boat guild came ashore safely, where they were greeted by the shore officer who brought a message from the Liløre Rescue Station: All fishing boats up north were out, and none had yet returned. It was necessary to launch the lifeboat, but only two members of Liløre’s rescue crew were at home – the rest were out at sea. There was no time to waste, Jens Fjordside and his colleagues ran from Ferring to Liløre Rescue Station – a trip of nearly 5 kilometres. The wooden shoes were heavy, so they were discarded, and the men ran barefoot along the beach. With the crew from another fishing boat, who had themselves just made it through the breakers, they could man the lifeboat, which was quickly launched. The fishing boat "Fortuna" was in trouble, and any attempt to land would result in certain death. The lifeboat pulled up alongside the fishing boat "Then we saw all six men let go of the oars, jump in the water and grab the ropes that hung like a garland from the railing of the lifeboat. A moment later, they were safely with us in the lifeboat." The lifeboat landed smoothly, but reports on land were sad. "There had been one message after another about boats capsizing in the surf. "
Jens Fjordside later received a medal for his efforts.
The rocket apparatus in use
Ferring Rescue Station had no lifeboat as it was impossible to launch a boat beneath the cliffs of Bovbjerg when the sea was rough and the waves crashed up against them. At the time, the beach was much narrower than it is today, where breakwaters are in place and the coasts are ‘sand-fed’, so the sea always has something to eat away at.
On December 23, 1886, the steamer Lutka of Danzig stranded right beneath Bovbjerg. There was no wind, but a dense fog. The crew remained aboard and unloaded some of the cargo, which consisted of coal. But then the winds rose, the ship drifted further inshore and the crew hoisted the distress flag. The rocket apparatus from Ferring arrived, and contact was made with the ship. The crew was rescued using the breeches buoy. In Lemvig Folkeblad, it reads: "The rescue of the eighteen-man crew posed major difficulties and went on for over two hours when the crew in the breeches buoy had to be hoisted all the way up the mountain, which has a height of approximately 150 feet, but nevertheless, it took place without further mishap."
The photo shows a stranded ship at Bovbjerg – the Urania in 1888.