Frithjof Wiese was built in Rosendal, Norway in 1935. She was commissioned RS 40 of the Redningsselskapet: a Norwegian Society for Sea Rescue (NSSR). Frithjof Weise was a new hybrid design from the legendary success of Naval Architect: Colin Archer’s pure sailing vessels to a new era of diesel propulsion. She was repowered again in 1955 with a General Motors Detroit in line 6-71 producing 165HP. She was the third design of the Bjarne Aas vessels also to first incorporating a pilothouse and oil stove. Frithjof Wiese was mainly stationed on the western and southern coast of Norway during her 32 years in service; she recued 25 people and assisted 1206 vessels.
The NSSR lifeboats’ maintained neutrality and wartime missions did not differ greatly from those normally done in time of peace, except for the danger posed by mines, and the possibilities of air attacks. During WWII, Maltese Crosses were painted on the sides of the hulls of the lifeboat to make identification easier. A great number of ships along the coast were, however, damaged or sunk by bombs, torpedoes or mines. Frithjof Wiese was among the lifeboats that searched for survivors of the sinking of the Estonian steamer Nautic.
When German forces occupied Norway, the NSSR was eventually given permission to set sail as before and be maintained by Norwegian crews. Notwithstanding, the movements of the NSSR was severely restricted and closely watched. In November of 1943 the crew of Frithjof Wiese was caught off guard while listening to the BBC on the ships radio. All hands were arrested and sent to Grini, a prison camp as the penalty was death for getting in touch with the enemies of Germany. In December of 1944 Frithjof Wiese was one of two lifeboats that sailed to England during the war also known as a Shetland Buss.
The RS40 Frithjof Wiese was in Arendal when she was ordered to proceed northwards to take part in the evacuation of Finnmark Counties. On October 18th, Hitler ordered approximately 42,500 people to force evacuate and at the same time all buildings, docks, bridges and infrastructure were destroyed. When she arrived in Møre, the crew was contacted by twelve people who had to escape the country and get to England or risk being captured and executed. The Frithjof Wiese took them board, set sail for England and did not return to Norway until July, 1945.
When Frithjof Wiese returned to Norway in July of 1945, she remained in service until 1967 when she was purchased by Ole Johansen and prepared for an ocean passage to Seattle, Washington, USA via Panama Canal with his wife and step child. Later, she was purchased by the Ryan family who lived aboard with six children on Orcas Island, WA USA. In 1986 the McMullen Family Trust acquired her and began an ongoing restoration that has forwarded the vessel to make 8,000 nautical mile Pacific circuit in 20003—2004 and 20,000 nautical miles from 2009-2010 all under her own power. Frithjof Wiese has just sailed across the Pacific, Atlantic and has returned to Norway on her 75th year to the Risør festival in 2010 & Brest 2012. Email contact: email@example.com