The rescue station in Thyborøn started out as a rocket station in 1851, and was located in the neighbourhood that today houses the church. In 1881, the station was also equipped with a lifeboat, which came from Flyvholm rescue station. The station then 'inherited' lifeboats from Blokhus, Vestagger and Tuskær, until it was equipped with a new lifeboat in 1892, and a boathouse was constructed. Horses for transporting the boat had to be summoned from Harboøre until 1923, when the station was equipped with a tractor.
The picture shows the boathouse, built in 1933 on the Thyborøn harbour. From here, the boat could be hoisted into the water via a rail system. Thyborøn still functions as a rescue station, and the current boat hall from 1993 was erected in the location of the old boathouse.
Stranding of the Hermod, 1916
"In the year 1916 on the morning of the 3rd of January at 2.30 a.m. on Christen Knoppers Shore, the steamer "Hermod" of Gothenburg was stranded" reads the rescue protocol from Thyborøn Rescue Station. The attendant, Anders Christensen, also wrote in the protocol that he telephoned the Flyvholm rescue station for horses to transport the lifeboat. The crew from Flyvholm was first on site, and made contact with the ship using rescue rockets, but "the crew would not go to the breeches buoy", so the Flyvholm lifeboat was launched and "landed at 7 a.m. with 11 men." At the same time, the Thyborøn lifeboat arrived, and was launched at 7:30 a.m., "and brought in the rest of the crew – 7 men." The crew was subsequently given lodging with the area’s shore officers. In the following days, the windy weather cast the ship further towards the beach, and it eventually landed just 10 metres from the shore.
The rescue of Hermod is a good example of how the rescue stations worked closely together. The Hermod crew was saved by two different boats – each with a 12-man crew. The ongoing telephone contact between the stations was of great importance.
Coastal Rescue – Thyborøn Rescue Station
Today, the Rescue Brigade has been renamed the Coastal Rescue Service, and is part of the Danish military, operating under the Navy. The Coastal Rescue Service has 21 rescue stations around the country. Thyborøn Rescue Station covers the coast between Thorsminde and Hanstholm, as well as the western part of the fjord.
Today, a distinction is made between outright rescue missions and assistance operations such as help for vessels that cannot come ashore, but are not in a dangerous situation. Rescue stations also provide help for anglers and surfers. Thyborøn Rescue Station also has a defibrillator and sometimes answers cardiac arrest calls in the local area.
Alarm, January 17, 2017
Thyborøn Rescue Station uses Facebook to communicate their work, and on January 17, 2017, the following was posted: "On Tuesday night, Thyborøn Rescue Station was alerted by the port guard that a coaster was in trouble leaving the Limfjord docks in the south harbour. Upon departure, the coaster had lost control in the hefty currents and was stranded on the east side of the fairway. With permission from the environmental guard at JRCC, the Martha Lerche could attempt to keep the coaster clear of a red buoy and facing the current, so that it could become free of the sandbank. It was found to be somewhat difficult in the strong currents, but after about 2 hours of wrangling, it managed to get the coaster free, allowing it to continue on to the Netherlands with about 4,500 tonnes of sea stones."
The picture is from the rescue station's Facebook page.
The lifeboat has always been of great importance to the rescue crew – both in the past and today. The rescuers must be able to rely on the boat's seaworthiness to willingly throw themselves into it and sail into storms and hurricanes to rescue the distressed. The lifeboat is therefore a topic of debate between rescuers and the ministry. Many suggestions have been made and many types have been tested over the years. Technical changes have often been made following an accident, resulting from a subsequent analysis of "what went wrong."
Early lifeboats were rowing boats designed for a crew of 12 men. When motorised lifeboats entered production in 1914, the boats were given numbers so as to keep better track of them should they be moved to another rescue station.
Equipment at Thyborøn Rescue Station
In 1933, Thyborøn received motorised lifeboat number 20 – MBR 20. It was still an open boat. The rescue crew consisted of 10 people, 8 of whom were to row the boat in case of engine failure. When the MBR 20 was taken out of service in Thyborøn in 1973, it was replaced by the MRB 35, which was a larger and more modern motorised lifeboat. It had two engines and an enclosed wheelhouse.
Thyborøn’s current lifeboat is called Martha Lerche, and is from 1989. But there is a new lifeboat on the way. Two men from Thyborøn Rescue Station are working alongside the Skagen and Hanstholm Rescue Stations on a committee to help define what the new boat should be. First of all, it must be able to traverse the North Sea in rough weather, but it should also have more power in order to assist big ships.
Today, Thyborøn Rescue Station also have access to a fast boat, the FRB16, an official car and a small boat that can be towed by the car.