If you’re out on Swedish waters and run into problems, chances are you’ll be rescued by volunteers from the non-profit organisation the Swedish Sea Rescue Society, SSRS. For more than a hundred years SSRS has been saving lives. Today it has over 2,000 volunteers that are ready to drop everything and throw themselves on a boat at their local rescue station. Anyone over 18 can volunteer to be a sea rescuer, a job that is popular with many of the Soya Group’s co-workers.
Markus Nilsson, a Game warden working with wildlife and forestry management at Menhammar stud farm outside Stockholm, is also a volunteer. “It’s happened more than once that we’ve had people over for dinner and all of a sudden I’ve had to leave. It’s fine for me: I go out on a boat and get appreciation, but my wife is stuck at home with two kids. However, I see volunteering as a way to give something back to my community and a way to meet different kinds of people,” he says.
Michael Kellermann is chief security officer in the Soya Group. He has always been interested in boat life and was a passive member of SSRS for many years. About a year ago he decided to become more active and is now on call at a station in central Stockholm. All three of the Soya Group co-workers interviewed here are able to be on call during office hours, something rare and valuable in SSRS. “I have learned a lot from my training and service with SSRS. I took a health care course that I now use when educating co-workers within the Soya Group. Coordinating with the fire department and ambulance teams is also a great experience that I can use in my everyday job,” says Michael.
The committment in SSRS goes way back in history for Wallenius, and is still as frequent. Through the years, Wallenius Lines has donated to large Sea Rescue boats: Signe Wallenius and Olof Wallenius, stationed at Öregrund and Falkenberg. A few years ago, the SSRS in Mälaren received the hovercraft Mats Kleberg, which can be used throughout the year (photo: SSRS).