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Lolland. The funds raised also paved the way for SVITZER’s entry into towage through a stake acquired in the Danish harbour towage company Det Forenede Bugserselskab in recognition of the increasing interdependence of towage and salvage. SVITZER furthermore cemented its position in the salvage industry by acquiring Oscar Petersens Bjergningsentreprise in Kastrup in 1879. INTERNATIONAL STRUGGLE AND EXPANSION Competition in salvage kept intensifying. There were fewer salvage operations, partly due to the development of the Lights and Buoys Service and salvage in Denmark was no longer limited to Danish operators. Rival companies included the German salvage company Nordischer Bergungs Verein based in Hamburg who in the 1880s had stationed three steamers in southern Danish waters and started co operation with the local communities. Contrary to what might be acceptable today SVITZER acquired shares in the German company and entered into a cooperation agreement for common operational fi elds. This contract lasted until 1904. A similar agreement was made in the 1880s with the Swedish salvage and diving company Bergings- och Dykeri Aktiebolaget Neptun, who had entered into operations in the Sound. With these same companies SVITZER also entered into an agreement to jointly station and operate a salvage fl eet in the Mediterranean. In 1889 the steamship EM. Z. SVITZER arrived in Marseille and from this base undertook many salvage operations in the Mediterranean. In a similar alliance, the salvage vessel PROTECTOR built in 1905 was stationed as far away as China in 1906. However, cooperation in the Mediterranean with the Swedish company was short-lived and just a year later the Swedish company once again challenged SVITZER operations in the Sound. SVITZER reacted promptly and without hesitation by placing vessels in southern Sweden and spending a signifi cant amount of money establishing a private phone line to swiftly gather intelligence on vessels in distress in that area. By the end of the 19th century SVITZER had expanded its operational fi eld into Norwegian waters. As competition intensifi ed SVITZER stationed a vessel at Christianssund in 1903 and a few years later another vessel to work from strategic stations along the Norwegian coast – Ålesund, Kristianssund, Rørvik, Sandnessjøen, Bodø, Sandtorg, Gibostad and Tromsø. Competing companies made similar moves to beat SVITZER to the jobs. Just as SVITZER had done in Denmark some 30 years earlier the company allied itself with the local fi shermen and salvage guilds to gain an edge on competition. The Norwegian competitors reacted by pursuing foreign representation with an arbitration panel, which had been established in Copenhagen at the beginning of the 1890s to reduce time spent on lengthy maritime court procedures. SVITZER was represented on the panel as one of three members and in 1905 a representative of foreign interests was added. Using the then common public notion of extraordinary 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 27


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