Lifeboat Insulinde, the first self-righting motor lifeboat in the world     Lifeboat Insulinde, the first self-righting motor lifeboat in the world     Picture Flying Focus

The Insulinde was built in 1927 as a result of a design by lifeboat skipper Mees Toxopeus and shipbuilder Professor Vossnack. Thanks to a revolutionary design with a tipping tank, they made the very first self-righting steel motor lifeboat in the world. In the Dutch East Indies money was collected for the construction. The boat owes its name to this colonized area. Insulinde is the name that the writer Multatuli gave to the Dutch East Indies.


During the Second World War, the rescue boat Insulinde made regular trips from Oostmahorn to Amsterdam or Rotterdam to check the demagnetization system. At the beginning of February 1945, during the hunger winter, the ship was packed with sacks of potatoes and sacks of legumes and wheat. Skipper Mees Toxopeus "confiscated" a number of sacks of coal from a ship chartered by Germans along the way and - thanks to his decisive action - passed the strict control at the Orange locks with his cargo. On the way back to Oostmahorn he took 32 malnourished children with him, who were placed in Frisian foster families.


The Insulinde was in service from 1927 to 1965 for the KNRM rescue station Oostmahorn. She made 341 rescues and saved 332 people. The boat became a sailing legend because of the spectacular rescues led by skipper Mees Toxopeus. This is one of the showpieces of the National Lifeboat Rescue Museum Dorus Rijkers.


Nationaal Reddingmuseum Dorus Rijkers

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