KNRM no longer automatically used as the ANWB of the water, but aid will remain free for the time being!

Boats with their broken down captain no longer automatically need the help of the Royal Dutch Rescue Company (KNRM) to count. This has to do with a policy change by the Coast Guard. From now on, that organization will first assess the need, and only mobilizes the KNRM if the crew and / or vessel is in danger.

First some background information. A skipper who gets into trouble, always raises the alarm at the Coast Guard. Until yesterday, the Coast Guard automatically called in the KNRM, who went to the unfortunate crew and provided assistance.

Whether it was plants in the propeller or a capsized yacht, the independent KNRM, which runs on donations, was directed at everything and helped regardless of the nature and severity of the problem. At least if commercial rescue services were not ahead of the KNRMs.


This is as follows: because the Coast Guard details (Location, type of vessel) sends a report to the KNRM via the public communication system P2000, everyone can "listen in". Commercial rescue services do this continuously and are often already in the water so that they can be on site quickly.

If a commercial rescuer got to a ship earlier, the victim skipper or crew could also do business with that commercial service. The big difference is that the KNRM does not charge any costs, while a commercial rescuer quickly charges an hourly rate of two hundred euros.

A well-insured skipper would not have cared much about who saved or helped him. If he was piloted by the KNRM to calm waters, stock exchanges remained closed. After the assistance, the skipper was asked to become a donor. If a skipper in distress accepted the help of a commercial salvage company, he could declare the invoice to his insurer in the majority of cases.


Skippers in distress or skippers with a breakdown can still report their problem to the Coast Guard from today. The biggest difference is that from now on, a Coast Guard employee will first perform a so-called triage. This triage consists of a number of questions that the employee uses to assess the need.

When ship or crew are in danger, nothing changes. In that case, the Coast Guard sends the KNRM to the vessel, the skipper or crew is assisted free of charge, and you will receive a request to become a donor afterwards. But if the triage shows that the ship or crew are not in danger, the crew is asked to call in a maritime rescuer themselves.

To make it easier for skippers with a breakdown, has the Coast Guard a list of care providers andtheir contact details published on its website. What is immediately noticeable is that not only commercial parties such as the Edamse Lima Delta arise, but also the KNRM. Does this mean that from now on the KNRM will also charge a fee for non-urgent assistance?


"KNRM will remain free’

KRNM spokesman Edward Zwitser says that is not the case, and that his organization will continue to help skippers in need of help free of charge from today. Remarkable, because in its list of available maritime rescuers, the Coast Guard nowhere reports that the KNRM – unlike most other care providers – free continues to salvage and rescue.

That it is not publicly advertised that the services of the KRNM remain free, is a conscious choice, says Zwitser. “We want our added value to consist of the fact that we 24/7 can help if someone needs us, and not from the fact that we are free.”

Although it is therefore not actively communicated that the KNRM will remain free, "It could be a possible outcome that in 100 percent of the breakdown cases the KNRM is asked to help. “Suppose that is the case, and the newline turns out to be a dead letter, the KNRM could also charge a fee in the future.”

“The discussion is always on: where does rescue stop, and where does standard service continue?”


Zwitser emphasizes that it is far from being that far, and that it is first necessary to evaluate how the new rules work out in practice. “It depends on how the Coast Guard triage turns out.”

Commercial rescue service

Also commercial maritime aid worker Jefta Langeveld, owner of the Rescue Service, finds the change implemented today a "nice proposal", but does not suspect that he is reaping the benefits.

“Only if it is properly implemented, it will take away friction”, he says to NH News. “But I don't think it is the intention of the KRNM to make fewer bets.”

With the "friction’ he refers to the playing field within which the KNRM and commercial maritime emergency services operate. “The discussion is always on: where does rescue stop, and where does standard service continue?


The Rescue Service covers the whole of the Netherlands, says Langeveld. “Also in waters where the KNRM and the Coastguard do not come.” To cover the whole country, he works together with small independent maritime rescue workers throughout the country. One of these is Lima Delta from Edam, "Can be used for calamities on the IJsselmeer, Markermeer, IJmeer and the Randmeren ". “That's a partner of mine.”

"Earlier than KNRM’

He says that he regularly arrives in a breakdown before the KNRM. That is not surprising, he reasons. “The KNRM needs ten minutes to mobilize, we lie – especially in high season – already on the water. So then you have a ten minute head start.”

That the Edam rescuer in maritime distress does not expect to benefit from the change, is because he thinks the KNRM will handle just as many breakdowns.”I doubt their intention is to make fewer bets, because on the list of names of recovery companies published by the Coast Guard, is also the KNRM”, says Langeveld.

“I think they are going commercial”, he speculates. “And that in time they will also ask for a fee for non-urgent deployments.”

More information about the rescue brigade.


source: NHNews