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Thread: R/S Colin Archer's First Rescue

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    Default R/S Colin Archer's First Rescue

    This is a narrative of the first major rescue of the NSSR's first redningsskøyte, the R/S "Colin Archer". I found it in a book that was published for NSSR's centennial jubilee in 1991. My translation, constructive feedback is appreciated!

    Note: At the time of the year that this incident took place, a mere month before midsummer, there is perpetual daylight this far north.

    It is May 20th, 1894. A north-eastern storm is crashing into the coast of eastern Finnmark, the north-easternmost part of Norway. It is Sunday, and the fishing fleet of Vardø is safely moored behind the breakwater. Nobody can imagine that anyone would venture to sea in this terrible weather. Then a telegram arrives from the neighboring fishing port of Havningberg. Immediate help is requested.

    The storm was standing straight into Havningberg, and the vessels that had not been pulled onto land had started to drag their moorings. Any moment, one could expect the warps to snap, and those on board would then be doomed. The only way conceivable rescue would be if a steamer from Vardø could make its way to Havningberg and either tow the boats to safety or take the crews on board. The harbor master of Vardø, together with the police chief, went down to the harbor to ask if any of the steamers would be willing to go to Havningberg. But only the master of the bait ship "Heimdal" agreed to go out into the savage storm. All the other captains felt that this was a hopeless endeavor.

    By chance, the NSSR's first rescue cutter "Colin Archer" was also in the harbor. It had followed the fishing fleet at the Lofoten cod fisheries, and had then sailed north to Finnmark. The new rescue boat was to be tested and tried under all conditions to prove itself. It had entered Vardø harbor the day before the terrible storm broke out. The people up north had heard about the new rescue society, and some could also tell that "Colin Archer" had shown itself to be highly useful in Lofoten. But nobody imagined that the sailing rescue cutter could be put to any sort of use in this terrible weather. It was probably just formalities, one thought, when the harbvor master and police chief were seen to come aboard to captain N. M. Antoniussen of "Colin Archer" and show him the express telegram from Havningberg. One may have been puzzled to hear the Antoniussen was at once willing to set sail for Havningberg. The citizens of Vardø probably feared most for the lives of ANoniussen and his crew when they saw the small cutter sail beyond the breakwater and disappear into the storm.

    Very soon, the steamer "Heimdal" also went out to sea. But she had not made much progress before it became clear to her master that there was no way the y could hope to achieve anything at Havningberg.

    It was late evening when the "Heimdal" again entered the harbor. The harbor master immediately sent a telegram to Havningberg to inform them of the failed attempt, and also asked whether they had seen anything of the rescue cutter. There was a prompt answer:

    "The rescue cutter has now taken aboard approx. 20 people. Among them captain Monsaas' wife. Now saling for Vardø. Steam ship can not achieve anything here, but request rescue cutter to return. Several still signalling for help."

    It was six o'clock in the afternoon when "Colin Archer" left Vardø harbor with captain Antoniussen at the helm. With him were bestman Nils Olsen of Nevlunghavn and seaman Hartvig Pedersen of Brønø.

    It was to be dangerous journey. The air was thick with driving snow that made it difficult to plot their position. The sight was from a nautical mile down to a few boat lengths. But the rescuers never gave in to the difficulties, and at 8:30 in the evening they got sight of Havningberg. The entrance to the bay was "as good as a single breaker", the captain wrote in his report.

    The cutter beat back and forth, and after a while they caught sight of the boats and vessels in the harbor. There was not much room to maneuver. The waves broke at ten-twelve fathoms. But Antoniussen kept his cool. With terrifying speed he maneuvered the cutter through the inlet and sailed around the vessels while his crew dampened the waves with oil. He maneuvered so that the vessels came into the flow of oil. This was a great help, and he could now commence with the rescue.

    In a mere three quarters of an hour, 22 people were rescued on board "Colin Archer"!

    Everyone were ordered below deck, and captain Antoniussen sailed between the breakers for another fifteen minutes, looking for more victims. He spotted no further flares, and as the rescue cutter itself was in imminent danger he dared wait no longer and headed back for Vardø.

    The return was no less dangerous, with the boat now being heavily laden. At the mouth of the Persfjorden all seemed to be lost. A heavy breaker crashed over the cutter, burying the aft part of the boat and smashing the pram. This wave "would have buryed us all had the cutter not been as solid and seaworthy as it is", Antoniussen wrote in his report.

    Around midnight, the cutter entered Vardø. There was naturally great joy, but also some puzzlement over the deed. Antoniussen and his people knew, however, that they were not quite done. Another telegram had arrived from Havningberg, requesting urgent assistance to those still in the harbor. Again, the "Colin Archer" headed out into the storm. The storm was dying off, but had set up a furious sea. At 03:20 in the night, Antoniussen steered into Havningberg for the second time. Repeating the same masterly maneuvers as last time, he rescued an additional 14 people!

    Captain Antoniussen was awarded the King's Medal of Merit in gold for his deed in Havningsberg.
    Last edited by Oyvind Snibsoer; 10-18-2009 at 12:02 PM.
    Bundin er bátleysur maður

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    Default Re: R/S Colin Archer's First Rescue

    Finest kind!!

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    Default Re: R/S Colin Archer's First Rescue

    For those not in the know, R/S Colin Archer is a sailing Vessel. She did not have an engine on board at the time of this rescue, it was done under sail power. I would say that Captain Antoniussen and his crew deserved much more than the medals given them. They also laid down a trail of rescues that come down to us today.
    Tom G. (Seaweed)

    No man's life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session. -John Adams (1788)

    From Champaign, a pleasant place to live in the foot hills of Mount Level in east central Illinois.

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    Default Re: R/S Colin Archer's First Rescue



    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

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    Default Re: R/S Colin Archer's First Rescue

    Hi

    Here is a link to another one of Colin Archers rescue crafts, RS 28 "Sandefjord". We have recently bought her and the web pages are quite new, so there will come more text and pictures.

    I hope to write down the most of her history and I think we know mostly all of it.

    She has spent several years in Cape Town and she has also been around the world. (in the middle of 1960`s) She also participated in the first Cap to Rio race in 1971. If anyone here has seen or sailed her during the time, it would be nice to hear from you. All small details and stories about her are interesting for us :-)

    Here is the link: http://rs28sandefjord.dinstudio.no

    Best regards
    Lena

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    Default Re: R/S Colin Archer's First Rescue

    Excellent thread, more of the same please!
    IMAGINES VEL NON FUERINT

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    Default Re: R/S Colin Archer's First Rescue

    I found that same story in one of the Colin Archer pages smewhere.

    I am anxious to find out more about Maken.

    The new WB magazine has a great article about these boats.
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

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    Default Re: R/S Colin Archer's First Rescue

    Quote Originally Posted by TimH View Post

    The new WB magazine has a great article about these boats.
    Yes, just read it. Very entertaining and informative.

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    Default Re: R/S Colin Archer's First Rescue

    Well this would put to rest any of the nonsense about this design not being able to work off a lee shore.

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    Default Re: R/S Colin Archer's First Rescue

    Nice one Oyvind! Here’s a link to an excellent video of R/S 14 Stavanger strutting her stuff:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vA7zZQVPayY

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    Default Re: R/S Colin Archer's First Rescue

    Great footage. This came up on the same page. Its been posted here before but its fun to watch again.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nf7FddPO5QM&NR=1

    I wonder how different the Colin Archer type would have handled those waves. This boat with its long stern overhang looks like she is constantly on the verge of broaching.
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

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    Default Re: R/S Colin Archer's First Rescue

    She’s an old converted 12 meter Tim. Not in her element at all facing Force 10 plus winds in the Baltic. But it certainly gives you an idea of what RS 1 probably had to deal with. Yikes!

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    Default Re: R/S Colin Archer's First Rescue

    Here's another good one of Stavanger in heavy weather!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0olEb...eature=related

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    Default Re: R/S Colin Archer's First Rescue

    You need a strong stomach for that kind of motion.
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

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    Default Re: R/S Colin Archer's First Rescue

    Yeah, corky little buggers aren’t they? That’s probably why they got the bad reputation for ocean voyaging. But Archer knew that they needed a lot of reserve buoyancy and it was a fair trade off for rolly-polly motion. Imagine stuffing 22 people into such a boat in severe conditions! You would definitely thank the gods for all that extra volume.

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    Default Re: R/S Colin Archer's First Rescue

    Atkins sure refined their lines a lot. The Atkins boats probably have a much nicer motion and a bit more speed. You can see it from these Ingrid 38 lines and pictures of Maken.









    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

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    Default Re: R/S Colin Archer's First Rescue

    Colin Archer was continually refining his design himself also. I believe the WB article mentions this. Also mentioned in this interesting article:

    The Mystery of Miss Caroline Harvey, of Tenby and the Svolvaer Lifeboat. - David James

    A year or so ago, a friend of mine met a Norwegian seaman on shore leave off one of the great oil Tankers that frequently visit the Milford Haven oil terminals. The sailor told of a Lady from Tenby who had donated a lifeboat to the remote village of Svolvaer in the Lofoten Islands of northern Norway, close to the Arctic Circle.
    Tenby Museum staff found no record of her living in the town so could she have been a summer visitor? Was she a member of the Harvey’s Sherry Family? A query to Harvey’s [the Bristol Cream Sherry Company] drew a blank as all their records had been destroyed during the bombing in World War 2.
    The Norwegian Embassy in London confirmed that the Royal Norwegian Lifeboat Institution had received funding from abroad towards building new boats.
    The first time this happened was in the1890’s when the Englishwoman, Miss Caroline Harvey gave funding towards the construction of R/S 12 “Svolvaer”
    Mr Johan Petersen of Redningsselskapet [Norwegian Society for Sea Rescue] explained that RS 12 was donated by Caroline Harvey in 1896; the ship being launched in 1897. She first donated 6000 Norwegian Kroner, and later another 4555 NKR thus financing the entire project. The RS 12 was built in Colin Archer’s shipyard at Larvik and was the first of a new design, still called the “Svolvaer type”. The craft was a slightly changed design on a previous Colin Archer type, the RS 1.

    A condition attached to the gift was that the “redningsskoyte” [lifeboat] must be stationed at Svolvaer through the fishing season. Miss Harvey had been a regular visitor to the area for many years and was acutely aware of the fierce conditions that the fishermen faced daily.
    The Board of the NSSR [Norwegian Lifeboat service] was initially reluctant to accept the condition attached to the gift, their general policy was that boats should be stationed where the Board thought it most useful at any time.
    However they relented and the boat was stationed at Svolvaer. In the years to come the crew of Svolvaer 12 received gifts every Christmas from Miss Harvey.
    She also worked for support of sea rescue societies, both in Norway and Great Britain. In 1918 she was awarded the Norwegian Kings Gold Medal in appreciation of her achievements.
    One wonders what prompted Miss Harvey to act in such a humane manner. Was she motivated, like Florence Nightingale who gave aid to the suffering British troops in the Crimean War and Fanny Price Gwynne of Tenby seeing at first hand the plight of the men who found their livelihood on the stormy sea?
    After all, Pembrokeshire’s iron bound coast and seething waves are savage enough in the teeth of a gale and have claimed many ships and the lives of brave men, but near the Arctic Circle there are the added dangers of ice forming on the rigging, icebergs and the energy sapping cold.
    Does anyone have thoughts on this intriguing tale, I seem to have explored all avenues I can think of and feel I only have part of the story. Did Miss Harvey lose a loved one in the cold northern seas? Why did she take such an interest in this lonely and isolated spot in the land of the Midnight sun? Perhaps her fiancé was the unfortunate man she grieved over.
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

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    Default Re: R/S Colin Archer's First Rescue

    Quote Originally Posted by TimH View Post
    I am anxious to find out more about Maken.
    Probably you have this information, but in Jeppe Jul Nielsen pages in Norway it says:
    RS 9 "Stadt", now Maken?, built in 1895, 45 feet, left Norway 1952. Probably a vessel which has been found in USA. http://home.online.no/~jeppejul/Coli...nvaerende.html

    By the way, theese vessels are excellent in the sea when you use the sail. Very stable and good in rough sea

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    Default Re: R/S Colin Archer's First Rescue

    Wow Thanks! I hadnt found that. Plus I dont speak Norwegian so I wouldnt have been able to read it anyway


    So Maken is one of the first ones. Fascinating.
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

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    Default Re: R/S Colin Archer's First Rescue

    If this is the same boat, my CA book tells me:
    Built by Rolfsen in Bergen, price 10320,86 Norwegian kroner. Sold from the rescue company in the autumn 1931 to doctor Bjarne Gaarder, Hamarøy.

    ...and here is a link to an old picture of "Stadt":
    http://www.nssr.no/Redningssk%C3%B8y...8yte?key=33970
    Last edited by lestl; 11-06-2009 at 04:38 PM.

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    Default Re: R/S Colin Archer's First Rescue

    Cool! Its hard to say for sure if thats her or not. These boats were all so similar but it sure looks like her.

    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

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    Default Re: R/S Colin Archer's First Rescue

    Tim - do you know if Maken is going to be completely restored.......?

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    Default Re: R/S Colin Archer's First Rescue

    But if she is the same, she was built a little bit different from the other rescue crafts and maybe you can recognize her from this. The problem is that I don`t quite know how to translate this, so I use google translate and hopefully you will understand. (This is also from the text in the page I linked earlier)
    Here it comes:
    drawings by Rolfsen. More straight stem and more under cut than the other RS vessels

    (stem-The big plank in the bow. Sorry for bad translation)

  24. #24

    Default Re: R/S Colin Archer's First Rescue

    i can guess maken has less draft
    ,
    Boat Designer. Boatbuilder

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    Default Re: R/S Colin Archer's First Rescue

    Quote Originally Posted by GWB View Post
    Tim - do you know if Maken is going to be completely restored.......?
    It would appear so. I believe she is just a bare hull at present from what I can see. I havent climbed up and looked inside though.

    I am waiting to hear from Dan (Betty-B) He knows the owner and was going to find us some more information on her history and status.

    She has been on the hard in PT for years now. It looks as though progress has been pretty slow. She used to have a big huge tent over her. That has been removed for some reason.
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

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    Default Re: R/S Colin Archer's First Rescue

    Quote Originally Posted by lestl View Post
    But if she is the same, she was built a little bit different from the other rescue crafts and maybe you can recognize her from this. The problem is that I don`t quite know how to translate this, so I use google translate and hopefully you will understand. (This is also from the text in the page I linked earlier)
    Here it comes:
    drawings by Rolfsen. More straight stem and more under cut than the other RS vessels

    (stem-The big plank in the bow. Sorry for bad translation)
    I would say that is true.
    Maken has a very plumb stem compared to say Stavanger (her lines are on page 56 of the new WB).

    Hard to see how straight Makens stem is from my pictures, but this seems to be more typical redningskoyt

    Last edited by TimH; 11-06-2009 at 06:51 PM.
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

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    Default Re: R/S Colin Archer's First Rescue

    Great timing with this thread, a rather impressive Colin Archer boat has just arrived in Auckland , I don't know anything about it yet.. just took a bunch of photos on Friday( yesterday).
    Its called Mendrugo, Jersey.

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    Default Re: R/S Colin Archer's First Rescue

    Quote Originally Posted by John B View Post
    Great timing with this thread, a rather impressive Colin Archer boat has just arrived in Auckland , I don't know anything about it yet.. just took a bunch of photos on Friday( yesterday).
    Its called Mendrugo, Jersey.
    Oh here we go

    Sailing 49' Colin Archer "Mendrugo" (ex "Carmen")
    from this site.
    http://home.online.no/~jeppejul/Coli...%20Yachts.html

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    Default Re: R/S Colin Archer's First Rescue

    Wow. I was just looking at that boat as you posted this. Weird.
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

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    Default Re: R/S Colin Archer's First Rescue


    There's about 15 photos but I have to go out. I'll put some more up later if people want.

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    Default Re: R/S Colin Archer's First Rescue

    Quote Originally Posted by John B View Post
    I'll put some more up later if people want.
    You have to ask?
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

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    Default Re: R/S Colin Archer's First Rescue

    They are doing something. This was last July:

    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

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    Default Re: R/S Colin Archer's First Rescue

    I dont know the owner more than having talked with him a few times. I'm waiting to hear back from a shipwright friend who has done most of the restoration work on Maken. However, some people still live their lives outside of a cellular reception...

    DAN

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    Default Re: R/S Colin Archer's First Rescue

    MAKEN has had tons of work done. Incuding a new deck with new beams and carlings, lots of massive sawn frames, and lots of new planks.

    This was from a couple years ago:










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    Default Re: R/S Colin Archer's First Rescue

    WOW nice pix Dan!
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

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