From Redningsvejen (North Sea Trail) along the west coast
Out to the water from Agger Tange in the south to Bulbjerg in the north a modest track meanders in and out between the sand dunes. For many years, this simple road was literally the life blood of the entire area when rescue parties drove here with all their equipment on their way to and from wrecks and strandings along the coast. The voluntary rescuers saved the lives of hundreds of people in distress at sea. The North Jutland Life-Saving Service was set up in 1852, when 21 lifeboat stations were established along the Jutland west coast. The powerful current, the frequent storms and the sand bars made many ships run aground, and even when the wrecks were very close to the coast, the shipwrecked sailors rarely escaped unhurt without help. The initiative for the Life-Saving Service was taken after two British liners stranded at Thorsminde in 1811 and 1,230 lives were lost. The lifeboat stations had specially equipped boats and rocket apparatus that were used to help people ashore from the ships that had run aground. The rescue parties comprised a stream master (observer) and 12 boatswains who were elected among the locals. The job required sturdy and reliable fishermen who were familiar with the rough weather and hard labour. The crew was paid a fee which was an important supplement to the fishermen’s unstable income.
When the number of lifeboat stations was at its highest in 1924, there were 63 stations down the whole coast. And many lives were saved. Over the course of time, 121 seafarers have been saved by the station at Stenbjerg Landingsplads, besides 19 fishermen from the town. Today, there are still modern, operational lifeboat stations in Vorupør and Hanstholm. Here they have land rovers in order to get to the rescue site quickly, and backup can be called from a helicopter.
Follow the history of the North Sea Trail (Redningsvejen):
The hiking route “Vestkyststien” Agger-Bulbjerg basically follows the old route along the coast
Today, the old lifeboat house in Lyngby provides overnight accommodation with bunks and toilets for hikers and bikers. For a modest payment, the key can be collected from the neighbour opposite
Visit the lifeboat station at Stenbjerg which has been converted into a small museum about the Life-Saving Service
Visit the old lifeboat stations in Agger and Vorupør - also pay a visit to Vorupør Museum