Obviously, the vehicles themselves have been modified according to the task at hand, with onboard equipment including radar systems, infra-red heat-imaging cameras, high-power search floodlights and even a high-pressure harpoon.
No, the harpoon is not being used to hunt whales from the shore, but to send rescue lines for shipwrecked sailors or swimmers in distress. The interior of the vehicles are also equipped with first aid kits, stretchers, blankets and a complete medical emergency kit including defibrillators.
“Tire control is massively important for us. When we're driving along the beach to an incident, several wheels can often sink down into the sand at the same time,” says Morten Olsen, Station Manager from the SAR (search-and-rescue) station in the modern seaport and fishing harbor of Hanstholm, located in the northwest of Jutland. “Without having to exit the vehicle, we are able to decrease the tire pressure from 4.2 bar to 1.2 bar from inside the cab, providing up to 50 percent more surface area and grip per tire. This means we can dig ourselves out by our own means and drive on without delay.“
The four almost identical Mercedes-Benz Unimogs are being deployed by four Search and Rescue stations on Denmark's North Sea coast, with the models having been chosen for their extraordinary off-road and on-road capabilities.