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National Society of lifeguards at Sea

The National Society of Rescue at Sea is the realisation of the commitment of its precursors. For over a century, these voluntary workers have dedicated themselves to effectively helping the seafarers

SNSM Although the Rescue at sea operation already existed in the 19th century, due to the lack of technical, human and financial resources it was not possible to set up an efficient organization to cover all of the French coastline. Faced with numerous catastrophes observed at this time, some men got together to gradually form various local structures with very limited material.

At the end of the Second World War everything had to be rebuilt. There were more seafaring jobs again and water sport activities developed. At the request of the public authorities, the “Société Centrale de Sauvetage des Naufragés” and the “Société des Hospitaliers Sauveteurs Bretons” merged in 1967 to give birth to the “National Society of Rescue at Sea”(SNSM). Admiral Amman was the first President of this very new SNSM.

Bateau SNSM DieppeSNSM was set up as an association, giving free and voluntary service to save lives in danger at sea and along the coasts. In 1970, it was recognized as a public service. Vice-Admiral Yves Lagane of squadron 2s, is the present President.

Rescue, prevention, information and training are at the heart of their actions and priorities. On-board rescuers, trainers, life guards, volunteers in charge of collections, local communication or even promoters, they are always present along the coast, helping the professionals of the sea, tourists and amateur yachtsmen.


Name of the boat : "Notre-Dame de Bonsecours"

Type of boat : Canot Tous Temps SNS080



The mythical and mysterious "Jean Bouzard"

Canot Jean Bouzard

It was in 1939 that the SNSM of Dieppe was gifted “Jean Bouzard”, second of this name, a 12 metre long wooden lifeboat. Powered by two 28 horse power engines, it can reach a speed of 7.8 knots. In 1939 it was taken over by the National Marine. It is alleged to have sailed to England but this information could not be verified. It was at this date that one lost trace of it. Rumour has it that it picked up Princess Margaret’s unfortunate suitor, Captain Peter Townsend, whose plane was shot down in the Channel in 1940. A letter written by Peter Townsend was received by Louis Vicentini, the radio operator of the lifeboat, after the war. This seems to attest to the fact with no historical confirmation.

The National Marine recovered the lifeboat after the war and had it repaired. It went back to the sea in 1951. In 1982 it was given to ESTRAN and is now exhibited in the City of the Sea. Throughout its career, the “Jean Bouzard” participated in a number of rescue operations mainly with Jean Doublet. It remains the mythical lifeboat of Dieppe.

Société Nationale des Sauveteurs en Mer de Dieppe
BP 32
76201 Dieppe Cedex
Tél. : +332 35 84 93 44 / +336 27 44 30 30

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