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Volunteer work worth millions.
Norway has an exceedingly long coastline, with hundreds of fjords and thousands of inlets and idyllic small beaches. However, the coastline here has not been scathed from all the flotsam and jetsam polluting all the world’s oceans. The good news is that the volunteer organization "In the same boat" cleared 400 metric tons of plastic and rubbish from Norwegian beaches in 2020. In 2021, they will increase capacity and plan to collect 1,000 metric tons! Their overriding goal is in fact to clear some 20,000 beaches by 2025. The value of this fantastic volunteer effort is estimated at USD 18 million.
Most of "In the same boat" crews consists of young volunteers from all over the world. They come to Norway at their own expense to help with the clean-up and to experience Norwegian nature and culture. With several teams and vessels working in parallel, they move along the entire coast of Norway. Usually, a single team has a sailboat that the volunteers live in, and one or more work boats that are used for beach cleaning operations.
The volunteers receive thorough training in beach cleaning and safety at sea. Normally they are happy to participate for at least two months. Primarily they seek to clear beaches that no one else clears, i.e., in areas that are difficult to access, far from where people travel, or for other reasons are challenging.
Using mobile teams, they can move efficiently along the coast. The fact that the volunteers live in a sailboat provides proximity to the areas they clean up. They usually stay in an area for 2-4 weeks at a time. They also use specially adapted vessels with the necessary equipment to get the more difficult jobs done.
More than plastic straws and cutlery.
Much of what they find is large, heavy, overgrown, and located in the strangest and most inaccessible of places. The huge buoy in the picture below is a good example. They were told it ended up in the river over 40 years ago. Attempts have been made to remove it many times over the years, but it is too heavy to be lifted out by helicopter, too far from the road to be picked up by a mobile crane, and too far up the river mouth to be towed out by boat.
The volunteers took the challenge head on and managed to move it using ropes, hoists, and raw muscle power. The buoy was maneuvered down to the shore where is was moored in anticipation of an exceptionally high tide on the next full moon. At high tide they then guided safely out through the river mouth and towed into port for removal for further handling.
The heaviest jobs need the right equipment - and the right apparel.
The volunteers depend on good, durable work suits to provide protection in cold water and harsh weather conditions. "In the same boat" volunteers use Hansen Protection SeaWork protective work suits when they carry out their tough assignments. The suit is ideal for the task as it has been developed especially for personnel carrying out heavy tasks and maintenance work in exposed conditions at sea. SeaWork has an ergonomic design that makes it comfortable to wear and work in. In addition, is made of a dirt-repellent outer fabric that makes cleaning easy.
At Hansen Protection we are grateful for the trust placed in our products and are proud to be able to contribute to a safer, warmer, and drier working day life for all the volunteers who contribute to a cleaner coast - to the benefit of us all!
More information about "In the same boat": https://www.inthesameboat.eco/