'Instituto de Socorros a Naufragos': Past, present and future

Title'Instituto de Socorros a Naufragos': Past, present and future
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsMartins, D
Conference NameWorld Conference on Drowning Prevention
Date Published09/2007
PublisherInternational Life Saving Federation
Conference LocationPorto, Portugal
Other Numbers03-09

Historical minute description: In February 1892, a strong storm razed the portuguese coastline, killing 105 fisherman, among the total of 900, who were at sea that day. After this tragedy, Her Majesty The Queen “D. Amélia”, decided to establish the “Royal Lifesaving Institute” - “Real Instituto de Socorros a Náufragos”. With the introduction of the Republican Regime, on the 5th of October 1910, the  "Real Instituto de Socorros a Náufragos" changed its name to Instituto de Socorros a Náufragos (ISN). On the 20th of September 1957, and after a bending existence, the Portuguese State integrated the “Instituto de Socorros a Náufragos” in the Portuguese Navy, under the guardianship of the present “Direcção-Geral da Autoridade Marítima” - “Maritime Authority General Administration”.

Arrangement and resources: The “Portuguese Life Saving Institute” - “Instituto de Socorros a Náufragos” (ISN) is a nationwide humanitarian organization, established with the aim of saving lives at sea. To fulfil its mission, ISN has 30 lifeboat stations, along the Portuguese coastline, including the Azores and Madeira Islands. Everyone and every resource involved in this project is in alert 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Its activities include casualties prevention in harbour entrances and during fishermen, sports and recreation navigation activities. Concerning the support on the beaches, Lifeboat Institute has an embodied service named “Lifesaving and Rescue Instructions Nucleus (NFNS)”, which is connected to the Maritime Authority School, and has the responsibility to direct life guards, volunteer life guards, monitor of life guards courses and respective recycles. The logistic support to NFSN activities is totally provided by the financial, material and human resources of Lifesaving Institute. The Institute gratuitously supports 67 fire brigades located near the coastline, to whom are attributed 70 D class inshore lifeboats, and 9 breeches buoy equipments. This equipment is for sea, rivers and lakes lifesaving, in areas under Maritime Authority supervision, Lifesaving Institute also supports other 52 fire brigades located inside the country, to whom 61 D class inshore lifeboats are attributed.

Expressive activity: Lifeboat stations activity is enlarged to survey beaches during summertime. Since its establishment, Lifesaving Institute rescued over 40.000 persons and 15.000 vessels. About 730.000 persons were assisted through lifesaving operations.


  1. Increase the number of beaches with surveillance;
  2. Increase the number of life-guard courses;
  3. Increase the number of life-boat stations.
Learning Outcomes
  1. How to change a cultural behaviour!
  2. Saving lives and environment!
  3. Saving lives also depends on you!
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