Anna Bertrandsson Littke, Swedish Sea Rescue Society (SSRS)

Joint Winner of the IMRF #WomenInSAR Award

Anna Bertrandsson Littke has been nominated in the #WomenInSAR category for her role as an inspiring driving force, encouraging positive cultural change on an individual, station, community, and national organizational level. She is described as embodying the values of inclusion, diversity and equality that makes this award so important.

First and foremost, Anna is an exemplary volunteer sea rescuer, and a Coxswain on all the different SAR vessels operated by SSRS, demonstrating her versatility and ability to adjust to the situation and mission at hand. She leads her team confidently, calmly assessing situations, providing the highest level of individual care to those in distress all the while keeping a smile, and never losing her cool.

When Anna became the Station Manager at one of SSRS’s oldest (100 years +) and busiest stations, she changed the traditionally male-dominated macho maritime culture by leading by example, encouraging the team to listen to each other, and by being a role model for both men and women.

Her mentorship has led to greater acceptance of the different skills that each crew member brings to the team and provides a degree of psychological safety - encouraging more and more women to consider joining the crew. She is the person to represent SSRS in the community, being a worthy and formidable ambassador of SSRS values and mission.

Anna was the first female Head Instructor of SSRS’s SAR Course.

Her pedagogic approach of lifting the best attributes of each crew member, male or female has improved the safety and efficiency of SSRS’s rescue capabilities. Anna is an inspiration and role model to other women. She participated in the IMO/World Maritime University seminar “Empowering Women in the Maritime Community” as well as the IMRF’s #WomenInSAR African development SAR course in Morocco in 2019.

Anna is now the National Volunteer Coordinator for SSRS, managing operational and organisational challenges across all 73 stations and 2,300 volunteers. She is fair and balanced, listens to the issues and in a calm common-sense manner develops solutions for the greater welfare and happiness of the volunteer crew. She is a shining beacon in a stormy night.