Espoo’s lifeguard season starts in mid-April. For volunteers, starting a season means toil, and sometimes you have to leave for a rescue mission in the middle of the work day.
You’re ice are rapidly melting from Espoo’s sea areas, and the most enthusiastic are digging their boats off the winter rolls.
For those who are blinded by boating, it can be bad if they rush into the water after a winter on an unmaintained boat.
For example, water condensed in the fuel tank can be a hazard, which can damage the engine. When the engine is switched off, the journey stops.
In this case, Espoo’s lifeguards will come to the rescue.
Master of the resmed vessel Anni Muukkonen Espoo’s sea rescuers say that helping tasks with machine-damaged pleasure boats is the most common of all in the spring.
Towards the summer, the tasks will diversify.
“Last summer was really congested on the waters when people couldn’t get anywhere else. There were also inexperienced boaters on the move, ”he says.
In summer, grounding and various damages, such as entanglement of ropes in propellers, become more common.
For volunteer lifeguards, various first aid and fire fighting tasks are less common.
Espoo rescuers are under the Finnish Maritime Rescue Association. About 20 percent of the club’s volunteers are women, but in Espoo the proportion is higher.
Muukkonen estimates that about 30 percent of Espoo’s lifeguards are women.
“We feel that the proportion of women is growing, and there are a lot of women in management positions in the association,” says Muukkonen.
There are still few women as captains.
“We have a few female managers throughout Finland,” says Muukkonen.
Because there is always a captain on the boat, and they are mostly men, leaving with a female gang is less common.
However, a boater in distress in Espoo can get help from an entire crew of women, ie a female crew. In addition to the master, the deck men or women of the vessel shall be selected at random.
“It’s up to you to see if only women will join the crew. A few times we have been in traffic with women, ”says Muukkonen.
Muukkonen’s own path to master was the result of a natural continuum for him. Years of sea rescue duties had accumulated almost ten before the first season as chief.
The responsibility of the commander is great as the crew follows the commands and instructions of the commander.
“The master is responsible to the court for what has happened on board,” says Muukkonen.
Responsibilities also extend beyond the ship, as when on duty, the master must be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Espoo’s lifeguards have a total of about 70 active members.
Salvage is a volunteer, so a large percentage of members go to day jobs or study. We patrol the sea in the evenings and on weekends.
Sometimes there will also be home alarm tasks. This means that you may have to leave the job directly from home or work.
In this case, the officer on duty will receive an alarm from the Coast Guard or the rescue service. In the case of a sea rescue mission, the alert is sent as a text message directly to the Espoo crew.
Those who get on the task will reply to the text message, and from this group the commander will select the crew.
If the alarm comes in the middle of the working day, this must be agreed with the employer.
“That’s when we leave when the invitation comes. Fortunately, employers have been terribly understanding, ”says Muukkonen.
However, home alarm tasks are rare. The season runs from April to November, during which time there will normally be less than ten home alarm tasks.
“We also do a lot of non-urgent relief tasks. For example, if a customer’s boat has a breakdown and he calls from the island at 12 o’clock, then we will try to agree with him that we will help at the start of the patrol, and we may not leave for the task in the middle of the working day. ”
Last season, there were a total of 161 different tasks.
What kind of qualities should a person who wants to be a lifeguard have?
“It is important to us that a person has enthusiasm and time. However, this is not quite a hobby like an hour of tennis a week, ”says Muukkonen.
The sea is set to patrol after five, and is scheduled to return at nine or ten in the evening. Sometimes there are a lot of tasks and the return stretches.
“When you go to sea, you don’t know when to get home. We usually stay as long as there are tasks. ”
According to Muukkonen, no basic training is needed, as the club will train everyone who intends to be a lifeguard. There is still an advantage to boating experience and activities in the Free Fire Department, for example.
In addition, certain features are useful.
“We are volunteers and we are on many trains. It’s good to get along with different people, regardless of age or gender. ”
Anyone intending to be a lifeguard must also accept a maritime hierarchy. The events will be discussed later, but when the situation on the boat is on, the master’s word is the law.
“You can’t always afford to go against it. A certain hierarchy must be tolerated, ”says Muukkonen.
Salvage takes time and requires adaptation. What makes people go into this kind of activity?
The most important thing for Muukkonen himself is just to get to the sea.
That’s a big reason why he went to volunteer lifeguards ten years ago.
“I got married to a crab, so I had to find a way to get on the water.”
As a child, he spent a lot of time with his father on a sailboat.
“Some have a fire to get to the mountains and others to the sea. The lakes are nice too, but they don’t cause similar cicadas. Yes, the sea is the sea. ”
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