When staying in Mallorca we had the possibility to swim in the hotel pool. Not too big, and a bit too cold water, but when the sun had baked your body a short cooling down activity (not only chilled drinks) could be of benefit.Around this relatively small (10x15m) pool we observed at least three Life Buoys, and remembered the almost 30000 rescue buoys the Insurance company TrygVesta has given to the Norwegian society and placed around our coast.
But what is the story of life buoys and where do they originally come from.
A relief from approximately 865 BC in the British Museum shows Assyrian warriors who used air-filled animal skin to swim across a river. Ring-shaped life buoys feels right from a sketch by Leonardo da Vinci in the 1500s.
In the 1860's the Italian navy used cork rings as rescue remedy, and in 1868 it was taken out a patent for an inflatable rescue buoy with ring shape.
In Norway, it was the law of 7 May 1857 about the rescue equipment, that required one -1 - rescue buoy on ships, two on the larger merchant ships in foreign trade.
In 1950 Baard Isdahl (PR manager at TrygVesta) had the idea that TrygVesta should take on the responsibility for good access to life buoys around the Norwegian coast. TrygVesta could help to prevent drowning and improve safety, and improve marketing of the company´s name in the same process. The first TrygVesta-buoy was deployed in 1952.
No TrygVesta brand on the rescue buoys at our hotel in Mallorca so far, but the ring and rope was there for those in need for help.