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EXPANSION BEYOND COPENHAGEN SVITZER met the changing circumstances at the beginning of the 1850s by expanding its activity geographically. The provincial areas had developed a high shipping activity both coastal and overseas and by 1850 just as much cargo was shipped to and from provincial ports as Copenhagen. The cutter NANCY, bought in 1853, was stationed in Frederikshavn in north-east Jutland and assisted vessels in the Kattegat, where there was a steady trade between Jutland and Norway. By the middle of the 19th century SVITZER was a name well-known nationally and also outside Denmark. In 1850 SVITZER had assisted a Russian vessel grounded at Bornholm. This salvage operation was unsuccessful due to a big storm, but nevertheless SVITZER’s salvage attempt gained international recognition. The salvage master of the vessel IDA received a Russian order of recognition for his efforts at the operation. By the end of the 1850s SVITZER had salvage stations at several strategic locations along the Danish coastline and was ready to move to assist at any time. Still, this was not enough to meet the new demands of salvage. NEW TECHNOLOGY BRINGS NEW CHALLENGES The development of steamships had already begun in the early 19th century, but steamers did not become a major factor in the shipping industry until the last decades of the century. The fi rst steamer in Denmark was used as a postal boat carrying both mail and passengers. The main shipping vessels used in the period around the 1850s were big schooners or barks with two or three masts. According to records only 32 steamers were based in Denmark in 1857 of which 14 were in Copenhagen. Steamers visiting Danish ports that year numbered 2,547 whereas the number of sailing ships was 23,945, however the size of the steamers enabled them to carry up to ten times as much cargo as the sailing ships. Even though the steamship was still not the dominant vessel in shipping in Europe the size and weight of the steamers were challenging for salvors. The need for more pulling power was imperative for the salvage company to undertake bigger operations. In 1860 SVITZER salvaged the steamer F.H. OF CHAPMAN, which had sunk to the bottom of the Swedish lake Väneren and was considered a total loss. SVITZER recovered the vessel using all their force with seven sailing vessels and two pontoons. The mission was successful and the wreck was later bought by SVITZER at auction. The wrecked steamer was then rebuilt as a specialist salvage vessel and named SKANDINAVIEN. With an engine power of 55 hp it was a powerful vessel at the time. As the name hinted, SVITZER had plans to expand its market into Scandinavia and later that year a SVITZER acquired its fi rst steamship SKANDINAVIEN in 1860 after salvaging it from the bottom of a deep lake in Sweden. 22 S V I T Z E R – S A F E T Y A N D S U P P O R T AT S E A


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