Société Nationale de Sauvetage en Mer

Société nationale de sauvetage en mer
Abbreviation SNSM
Motto " Pour que l'eau salée n'ait jamais le goût des larmes" (So that salt water never taste of tears.
Formation 1967
Type Life savers
Legal status NGO
Purpose The SNSM is the charity that saves lives at sea
Headquarters Paris
Region served
Official language
Rear Admiral Yves Lagane
€20.2 million
First class swift boat

The Société Nationale de Sauvetage en Mer (SNSM) is a French voluntary organisation founded in 1967 by merging the Société Centrale de Sauvetage des Naufragés (founded in 1865) and the Hospitaliers Sauveteurs Bretons (1873). Its task is saving lives at sea around the French coast, including the overseas départments and territories.

In 2009 the SNSM was responsible for about half of all sea rescue operations and saved 5,400 lives in 2816 call-outs and assisted 2140 boats in distress. 65% of funding comes from the private sector (donations, bequeathals and sponsorship) and 35% comes from the national government, the regions, the départements and the local communities.


The SNSM has the following boats:

40 All weather lifeboats
25 Class 1 lifeboats (up to 40 Knots/Force 8)
64 Class 2 lifeboats (up to 33 Knots/Force 7)
21 Class 3 lifeboats (up to 10 Knots/Force 3)
425 Inshore lifeboats (including jetskis)

The boats are dispersed in 185 stations (including 15 in overseas territories).

See also

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