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COMPANIES SPONSOR NEW RESCUE BOAT FOR FRENCH WEST INDIES

Wednesday, July 10, 2019 

Two French shipping companies, CMA CGM and Ponant, have joined forces to support the Société Nationale des Sauveteurs en Mer (SNSM) by investing in the construction of a new rescue boat that will patrol Les Saintes islands in the French West Indies.

SNSM involves around 8,000 volunteer rescuers who help over 30,000 people each year at sea and along the coasts. The investment is a concrete response to the SNSM's need to modernise its fleet and cover all of France's coastline.

The new Type 2 offshore rescue boat (NSH2), soon to begin construction, will be delivered in 2021 and will be able to accommodate six volunteer rescuers on board. It is an unsinkable, self-righting vessel, 14.5m long by 5m wide, which can be deployed on rescue missions 20 to 50  nautical miles away from land, in extreme conditions The lifeboat can conduct searches for persons lost at sea, recover and give preliminary medical treatment to shipwreck victims, coordinate rescues with a helicopter and draw alongside and tow rescued vessels. Designed with a service life of 30 years, this boat will be stationed at Les Saintes islands.

Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and CEO of the CMA CGM Group, said: “As a shipping company with many volunteer collaborators within the SNSM, we were extremely affected by the incident of Les Sables-d'Olonne and the disappearance of the three rescuers. Every year, the SNSM and all its volunteers are doing remarkable work of assistance at sea and securing beaches. That’s why we decided to support them by contributing to the financing of a new rescue boat. Through this support, we express both our maritime solidarity and the human values ​​of a family group such as ours.”

Jean-Emmanuel Sauvée, President and Co-founder of PONANT, said: “As a sailor who has always been committed to honouring the reputation of the French flag – one of the safest in the world – I consider that the safety of our crew members and our passengers is the company’s top priority. For us, maintaining our support for the SNSM is unquestionable and symbolises the natural solidarity that unites sailors.”

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