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The first sketch of the electrical foiling rescue boat. A final design will be presented around the end of this year, and the prototype will be finished in 2023.
The first sketch of the electrical foiling rescue boat. A final design will be presented around the end of this year, and the prototype will be finished in 2023.

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The Swedish Sea Rescue Society is building the first emission-free lifeboat

An electric boat lifted out of the sea by foils. This is what sea rescue may look like in the future, when the Swedish Sea Rescue Society builds a new boat that will be ready in two years.

That the entire transport industry is facing a major change is nothing new. The heavily fossil-fueled industry must become greener, and in everything from passenger cars to aircraft, there are both finished products and advanced projects to switch to emission-free use.

While there has been progress in the automotive industry, the boating industry in general and lifeboats in particular, have lagged behind. The Swedish Sea Rescue Society has now been given an opportunity to catch up with the development, thanks to support from the Swedish Postcode Lottery.

“We will build a smaller lifeboat with an electric motor and retractable support foils. It will be a smooth, easy-to-maneuver boat that will be the preferred choice when the sea rescuers go on missions”, says Fredrik Falkman, who works with maritime safety innovation at the Swedish Sea Rescue Society.

“As far as we know, it is the first lifeboat in the world to be emission-free.”

It was at the beginning of 2020 that the Swedish Postcode Lottery donated SEK 15 million to the project.

“With the project ”Sea rescue fueled by the sun”, the Swedish Sea Rescue Society will be among the first on the journey to zero-emission at sea. Thanks to everyone involved in the Swedish Postcode Lottery, this project can support a larger engagement in the environment and at the same time create more effective sea rescue, with more lives saved. We believe that a strong civil society contributes to a better world for people and planet, and are therefore very proud to be a part of this journey”, says Eva Struving, Managing Director, the Swedish Postcode Lottery.

During the past year, the project group has studied the requirements for the new emission free boat. Among other things, the possible range has been investigated, and various alternatives for the hull and propulsion have been sketched. The choice has fallen on electric drive with batteries and a hull that is lifted off the support foils. The construction means that the friction from the water is reduced and the boat becomes more energy efficient. The next step is to continue developing the drawings and towards the end of 2021 begin the task of building the prototype.

One aspect the project also considers is that the new lifeboat should be preferred to its fossil-fueled siblings.

“We want our volunteers to choose this lifeboat over a diesel-powered one. Then it must have advantages, such as being easy to maneuver even at low speeds or that the support plane should provide a smoother ride when driving faster, says Fredrik Falkman.


FACTS

The Swedish Postcode Lottery donated SEK 15 million to the Sea Rescue Society in 2020 within the so-called Dream Project. The assignment was to investigate and have a more environmentally friendly lifeboat built. Within the project, there are collaborations with SSPA Sweden, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Zparq, Aston Harald, the Swedish Transport Administration and the Swedish Energy Agency.

The goal is to have a prototype ready by 2023, which will be tested and evaluated at a sea rescue station.

More pictures: Fredrik Falkman and the Gunnel Larson class of rescue boats. The planned new boat is of a similar size as the Gunne Larson class.

For more information, please contact:

Fredrik Falkman: +46 31 761 4028

The Swedish Sea Rescue Society, press office: +46 31 761 4001

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