Search and rescue operations (SAR)

On the water, people can fall overboard or go missing. Vessels can collide. That is why, together with our partners, we are available 24/7 to help people and animals in need.

Proud of our people

The Coastguard works together with a variety of organisations to provide help wherever and whenever required. Day and night. In all sorts of ways. This makes us proud!

Available 24/7

We are notified of emergencies in many different ways. Our Coastguard Centre is available 24/7 via radio frequencies, satellite telephone, mobile phone and email. Some vessels have emergency locator beacons on board. In the event of emergency, this beacon sends a signal with a position that we receive at the Coastguard Centre. This helps us do a targeted search.


If there is a lack of information, we sometimes need to look for a vessel. We warn all shipping traffic close to the vessel in distress to provide assistance or to help finding the vessel. In order to search for and rescue people and animals in distress, we also use sea and air units from the Netherlands Coastguard, the Royal Netherlands Sea Rescue Institution (KNRM) and the Dutch lifesaving brigade organisation Reddingsbrigade Nederland.

Search and rescue (SAR)

The term ‘search and rescue’ (SAR) is used internationally for the process of finding and rescuing people in distress on and in the water. Countries are required to organise this under international law. The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management is responsible for policy in this area. Operational implementation is done by the Coastguard Centre in Den Helder.

Shipping information

We also provide shipping with up-to-date and reliable safety warnings. This includes informing vessels of storms, collisions and special circumstances in the shipping lanes. 


Back to top