Lifeboat Rescue Service using Polarcirkel Boats

“Redningsselskapet” (RS) is the Norwegian Lifeboat Rescue Service, a charity membership association working to keep our coast- line safe, largely based on volunteers and donations.
2015 lifeboat rescue service polarcirkel boatsImage: A new Polarcirkel Diving 685 with 40 knots top speed.

Heading out into the worst of weather year round to save lives at sea, they depend on the most seaworthy and dependable boats available. The Polarcirkel Diving 685 met our stringent criteria and after thorough testing it came out on top of the list as our new summer patrol boat, says Kristin Wiig Sandnes, Regional & Prevention Manager in RS. These tough boats are built by Helgeland Plast, an AKVA group company located in Mo i Rana, right at the Arctic Circle in Northern Norway. Thousands of boats have been built since 1987, and this rugged boat concept is well proven worldwide in aquaculture, marine construction, leisure, tourism,
arctic exploration, defense, rescue, police, fast rescue launch boats aboard ships and the list goes on.

The Polarcirkel Boats are so-called RBBs (Rigid Buoyancy Boats). This means that the boat has 12mm thick solid HDPE pipe pontoons filled with polystyrene, unlike common RIBs (Rigid Inflatable Boats) that are prone to puncture. This makes it virtually indestructible reliable and unsinkable, perfect for use in RS along Norway’s rocky coastline.

An adventure in HDPE plastic

Helgeland Plast AS began manu-facturing HDPE plastic pipes in 1971. In 1974 the world’s first circular HDPE plastic cage was produced and delivered to Lovund Sjøprodukter AS. Cages currently accounts for 50% of turnover while 25% comes from boat sales. Today, Helgeland Plast produce approximately 80 boats per year and exporting these high quality workboats worldwide.

Safe and stable workboat

The new Polarcirkel boats will replace the so-called summer patrol boats in RS, and used for preventive work, courses and training. This will be a very safe and stable working platform for the district’s activities, says Kristin Wiig Sandnes. The boats will also be used to take elderly and disabled people on boat tours, and to educate the public about RS and the work that they do. As well as patrol-duty along the shorelines during festivals and events. The pontoons ensure superior stability, especially important when boarding or rescuing someone from the water.

The V-shaped hull angle of 21° provides excellent seaworthiness, and these boats handle waves and rough seas exceptionally well. When turning hard it stays in good contact with the water and in full control. This means even less inexperienced drivers have no problems driving it safely. 

The four first boats for the RS were customized with center driver’s console and three pilot seats aft, freeing up more space on the foredeck. A wide and low access ramp in the port side gunwale also allows for wheelchair access. Equipped with the latest navigational and communications electronics, and 40 knots top speed, makes this a high per-formance patrol boat for the RS.

We hope we will be able to acquire more Polarcirkel Boats for operation in several other districts along the Norwegian coastline, but we also need more volunteers in order to keep the boats in operations, ends Kristin Wiig Sandnes.