If you visit the small villages along the west coast of Jutland you will notice a special kind of old building which is present in almost all the villages. It is small rescue stations which were built to help the sailors who got into trouble along the coast. The buildings are very characteristic so they are easy to spot – but they always seem to be closed.
One of the few exceptions is the rescue station just outside Sønderho – this has been transformed into a small museum thanks to the foundation to the beautification of Sønderho. The entrance to the museum is by donation like the other museums run by the foundation and they recommend a minimum donation of 20DKK or 3€.
The rescue stations along the coast of Jutland started to be built from 1852 and 20 were built along the coast of Jutland. It took a while before they finally got around to building a rescue station at Sønderho – it was finally built in 1887. The station got a sink free rowboat to rescue sailors. The row boat had a crew of 12 men. 8 horses were standby near the rescue station to pull the rescue boat from the rescue station to the coast of Fanø. To shorten the response time in case of emergency a telephone line was established between the rescue station and an observation post at the coast in 1900. Later another telephone line was established to the house of the main caretaker of the rescue station.
The rescue station was used during several incidents where ships came into trouble and during the Second World War they helped save the crew of a two allied airplanes which had been shot down in the area.
There isn’t a lot of places to actually look inside one of these old rescue stations – hence if you have an interest in how these old stations looked like and were equipped this is a good little stop to visit. There isn’t a lot to see inside the station but there is some so you can get a bit of a feel of the workings of a rescue station.