Over the years, the municipality of Aalborg, Port of Aalborg and regional emergency services have taken several initiatives to help reduce the number of fatal accidents at the waterfront. Unfortunately, incidences of people falling into the harbour basin occur, which has a water temperature close to freezing at this time of the year.
– Aalborg is gifted with a fantastic waterfront, which thousands of citizens use every day. But at this time of year, it can be fatal if a person falls into the water, especially when alcohol is involved. Therefore, the municipality, the emergency services and Port of Aalborg constantly work to improve and maintain the waterfront’s infrastructure, thus preventing unfortunate accidents, says Harbourmaster at Port of Aalborg, Claus Rosenbeck.
New and modern rescue ladders along the entire central harbour quay
Over the past three years, all rescue ladders along the harbour quay have been replaced to make them more visible and easier to climb:
– With the help of Trygfonden, we have replaced approximately 70 rescue ladders along most of the central waterfront over the past three years. The ladders are orange, illuminated and have reflectors to be seen in the dark. Additionally, the new ladders have a bar on top, making it easier for injured persons to find it and use it to get back upon the quay, explains team coordinator and land surveyor from the municipality of Aalborg, Christian Birch Schmidt.
Superzoom cameras save lives
When a person falls into the water at this time of year, the rescue must occur within minutes. However, a combination of wind, current, and waves can pull the person into the middle of the fjord and complicate a rescue operation.
As a result, Aalborg municipality has installed cameras along the fjord. Regional emergency services operate these cameras to help identify people in the water — even at night.
– With cameras on both the railway bridge and the Limfjord Bridge, we cover the entire fjord from the marina in the west to Musikkens Hus in the east. The cameras are also thermal, meaning we can look for warm objects and thus find people in the water even in pitch darkness, says Henrik Loeb Svenstrup, IT employee and responsible for monitoring at Nordjyllands Beredskab.
The superzoom cameras have been used several times to help save lives:
– We have experienced that people on land have heard distress calls from the fjord at nightfall when it’s impossible to see the person in the water. However, with the help of the thermal cameras, it has been possible for us to identify the person and rescue them. The cameras undoubtedly saved lives, says Henrik Loeb Svenstrup.
New lighting illuminates the waterfront
Another important parameter to avoid people falling into the water is proper illumination of the waterfront:
– As the waterfront has been revitalized during recent years, we have also significantly improved the quay’s lighting conditions. The quayside is marked with a sharp line of lamps along the ground. We also replaced all the lamps with LEDs a few years ago and increased light levels in the tall masts standing along the entire quay, says Christian Birch Schmidt.
Port of Aalborg: Take care of each other
Even though a lot of material improvements are being made along the waterfront to prevent accidents, the very best thing you can do is take care of yourself and each other, says Claus Rosenbeck, Harbourmaster at Port of Aalborg:
– Safety must always be the priority, whether you work in the industrial part of the port or you go for a walk along the central waterfront. We always recommend you go together so that help is close by, especially if you’re going out in a festive setting.
TrygFonden’s advice when you visit the waterfront:
Always be oriented about safety and rescue equipment
Don’t put yourself in danger if you’re going to save others
Don’t go along the harbour alone
Take extra care if you have been drinking alcohol
For further information, please contact:
- Claus Rosenbeck, Harbourmaster, Port of Aalborg A/S, +45 29 20 72 21, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Presseservice: Maja Thordahl Schou, Head of Branding & PR, Port of Aalborg A/S, +45 22 61 83 08, email@example.com