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The Deutsche Gesellschaft zur Rettung Schiffbrüchiger (DGzRS) or German Maritime Search
and Rescue Association, is one of the most modern sea rescue services in the world.
We finance our work exclusively through donations and voluntary contributions. As SAR service,
we are on call on the North Sea and Baltic Sea in all kinds of weather around the clock
– with a fleet of 60 sea rescue cruisers and lifeboats.

Sea Rescuers at a glance.

lives saved
full-time staff
qualified volunteers
SAR cruisers
36,2 Mio €
expenditure in 2013
taxpayer funds

The sea rescuers have
an eventful


In World War II, the DGzRS rescue fleet – marked with the distinctive red cross – under the protection of the Geneva Convention, is heavily deployed for both "friend and foe”.


Christening of the first modern-day sea rescue cruiser with „daughter“ boat: when the THEODOR HEUSS enters service, a new, groundbreaking era in the construction of modern, versatile rescue boats begins.


The sea rescue cruiser ADOLPH BERMPOHL goes down during a mission in a hurricane off the coast of Helgoland. The four crew members and three previously rescued Dutch fishermen all perish.


Re-unification : the DGzRS once again takes on the work of eleven stations along the coast of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania – today there are 17.


Founding of the German Maritime Search and Rescue Association (DGzRS) on May 29 in Kiel. The headquarters of the DGzRS is Bremen. The sea rescue stations are equipped with simple rocket flares, breeches buoys and open rowboats.


During a hurricane in the night of the 1st to 2nd of January, the sea rescue vessel ALFRIED KRUPP is caught by a groundswell while returning from a mission. Two of the four crew members are lost at sea.


150 years of DGzRS: 60 sea rescue units are in service. The rescue fleet is among the most modern, most effective in the world. In spite of all the technology, our focus is, as ever, on people. Without the voluntary efforts of experienced sea rescuers, the work of the DGzRS would be inconceivable today.


Following major maritime emergencies on the North Sea coast, Adolph Bermpohl and Carl Kuhlmay call for the founding of a sea rescue service on a private basis. As early as 1861, Georg Breusing founds the first German regional association for sea rescue in Emden. Other associations follow along the coast. Dr. Arwed Emminghaus plays a leading role in championing the merger of the associations.


The motorisation of the rescue fleet begins.


When Germany is divided, the DGzRS continues its sea rescue service in the German Bight and the western Baltic Sea. The sea rescue service of the GDR, in contrast, is organized by the government.


The DGzRS has already saved over 50,000 people from distress at sea or in dangerous situations: that corresponds to the present population of the town of Passau in Bavaria. The Sea Rescuers have brought prompt assistance to around 81,000 people  - as many as inhabitants of the city of Villingen-Schenningen in Baden-Württemberg.


After Norddeich Radio closes down, the DGzRS takes over duty for round-the-clock monitoring of VHF maritime radio for emergency and safety calls.

The world knows many languages –
sea rescuers only one.

Over 90 percent of the worldwide exchange of goods and commodities takes place via sea routes. Sea rescue is just as international:

  • We work together across borders with the sea rescue services of our neighbouring nations.
  • Our MARITIME RESCUE COORDINATION CENTRE BREMEN gives assistance in emergencies with German involvement around the globe.
  • The DGzRS is a member of the International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF), an association of nearly all maritime search and rescue organisations in the world.

World Maritime Rescue Congress

The next World Maritime Rescue Congress (WMRC) will take place in 2015 in Bremen and Bremerhaven. The host will be Deutsche Gesellschaft zur Rettung Schiffbrüchiger (DGzRS), that will be 150 years old in the same year.

The members of the International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF) meet every four years at the WMRC for intensive and very open discussions about rescue technology and experience accumulated in missions at sea.

For further information, visit: www.international-maritime-rescue.org

We put out to sea when
others seek safe haven.

Recover castaways. Save people from danger. Care for the
injured and sick. We are ready to launch into action around
the clock and in any, literally any wind and weather.

1.000 sea rescuers
54 stations
1 task

Our sea rescuers are
storm-proof. Our vessels, too.

In an emergency, we must be able to respond promptly and reliably.
For this we require the safest equipment and a modern fleet –
with sea rescue vessels and lifeboats that defy wind and weather.
No matter how high the waves are. Always focussing on the goal
of reaching harbour safe and sound and with survivors safe on board.  

on board!

Get to know our SAR cruiser NIS RANDERS.

With the mouse button pressed down, you can turn around 360°; by clicking, you get to the next room. You can also „board“ the daughter boat ONKEL WILLI by clicking.

on board!

Get to know our SAR cruiser HARRO KOEBKE.

With the mouse button pressed down, you can turn around 360°; by clicking, you get to the next room. You can also „board“ the daughter boat NOTARIUS by clicking