Some time ago, a circular letter from NN to its policyholders regarding the consideration of whether or not to call on/accept the assistance of the salvage companies or KNRM, caused considerable commotion.
Meanwhile, the KNRM has announced on its website that as of August 17, 2020 a new procedure will be used to distinguish between urgent (Search and Rescue) and non-urgent assistance.
In concrete terms this means that when there is no non-emergency assistance a rescue boat of the KNRM will no longer be automatically alerted by the Coast Guard, but the person who wants help will have to indicate which rescue worker he needs.
In the past, when the Coast Guard was contacted, it automatically alerted a rescue boat of the KNRM. In the past, cynics made a comparison between the easy deployment of the KNRM and the Coast Guard, but now the Coast Guard itself explicitly states through its Head of Coast Guard Operations: “In case of a car breakdown, you call the Coast Guard and not the emergency number 112. The Coast Guard is an operational center for emergencies. Water sporters themselves are responsible for being well prepared. This now includes the question: what do I do if I have a breakdown? Who do I call?”
This new way of working is the result of consultations between the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, the Coast Guard, KNRM and salvage companies. Previously, KNRM was alerted for all incidents on the water. Often commercial salvage companies also responded to these alarms and this sometimes led to uncertainty and even disagreement between the caller, salvage company and KNRM.
With a good assessment of the situation by the Coast Guard, it is expected that in any case the pressure on KNRM to have to sail out at every report will decrease, which will also bring more peace to the water.
For urgent assistance it goes without saying that KNRM is immediately alerted by the Coast Guard. KNRM is the only organization in the Netherlands that guarantees assistance on the water 24 hours a day. In all weather conditions and without making any distinction in the type of incident. The KNRM remains available for non-emergency assistance as well, but the caller will have to call the KNRM themselves or request assistance through the KNRM Helpt app. In such cases KNRM will make agreements on the time and nature of the assistance, so that the KNRM volunteers have some choice in the time of departure.
More clarity, appropriate use of general resources, a good thing!
For more information, please visit: www.kustwacht.nl/hulp