History shows that Norwegians have enjoyed boating and ocean crossing voyages.
We started in the late 7- and early 8-hundred and the Vikings quickly got the knack of plundering, pillaging and indecent behavior. Masters of the seas they were and also known to take pleasure in racing over longer distances.
Pleasure boating of the time.
This is a proud period of the Norwegian history; however, neither the English, the Scots and nor the Irish welcomed our merciless visits.
Those were the days!
Today Norway consists of approx. 5 million less violent individuals enjoying a total fleet of close to one (1) million pleasure boats.
From the days when we had to take long voyages for gold, silver and valuables, Norway struck “black gold”, just outside the coast in the late 60-ties and since then our country has been on an incredible financial voyage.
The population of pleasure crafts in Norway reflects our natural love for the sea, but also reflects the natural beauty of our long coastline and deep fjords. Pleasure boating opportunities seem unlimited.
The small-craft fleet has grown steadily from the 60-ties until today and 2021 is expected to reach all time-high in new boat sales
Driven by corona restrictions, a strong economy, and easy access to the sea, the boating community is still growing. Current boat owners upgrade their old boat, but there is also a new generation of boaters emerging. This is excellent news; – this is also needed; – and very much welcomed.
Despite the fact that all boaters should have a license for their boat, it cannot be avoided that new, inexperienced boat owners need guidance and time to learn boat handling and boat culture before they, and we, are safe and comfortable. Reckless driving can be as fatal at sea as it is on land.
In 1988 there were more than 2.9 mill. motor vehicles on the Norwegian roads and that year we had more than 370 fatal road accidents. In the years that followed , road deaths sadly reached similar levels.
In 2002 the Norwegian Council of Road Safety announced their Zero-Vision Action Plan.
They committed themselves to implement measures and work toward a vision of zero deaths on Norwegian roads.
In 2020 there were more than 5.7 mill. vehicles on the Norwegian roads and the number of fatal accidents had for the first time fallen below 100 and 13 less than the year before.
A similar Zero-Vision Plan has been announced by the Norwegian Society for Sea Rescue and NSSR has engaged our former Minister of Finance, Ms. Siv Jensen to manage and run this ambitious program.
Very many are happy to see that NSSR has selected a highly qualified and powerful person with passion and love for the sea and safe boating.
NSSR is in itself a well-organized entity and with the background, qualifications and ambitions of Ms. Siv Jensen they are adding a new dimension to their team and ensures confidence in their Zero-Vision Plan.
Of the 88 people drowned in Norway in 2020, 20 were connected to pleasure boating.
This is 20 too many and with a new generation of boaters coming on the water, it is our obligation to ensure that they are all safe, comfortable and remain strong ambassadors for our industry.
We can now watch adequate measures and actions being implemented and, as all lives matters, many of us have great expectations of the Zero-Vision Plan by NSSR.
As President Roosevelt once said; “… Look to Norway”
For further information
Knut Heiberg Andersen
Mobile: +47 900 61 175
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