German-English Brochure: click here for download

"German Maritime Search and Rescue Service:

Bases and tasks – organisation and area of operation – technology and equipment". 52 pages

The German Maritime SAR-Service

The German Maritime Search and Rescue Service (DGzRS) was founded on 29 May 1865. Since then it has carried out search and rescue missions along the German North Sea and Baltic Sea coasts – independently and accepting sole responsibility.

For more than a century, German life-saving missions at sea had been a private matter. The DGzRS held this statutory task practically from within its own traditions. As early as 1965, the role of DGzRS as sole maritime rescue service provider was laid down in the German “Maritime Responsibilities Act”. Further legal frameworks for the German rescue service were established in March 1982: with reference to the International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue, adopted in Hamburg in 1979 (IMO Convention), an agreement between the German Ministry of Transport and the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service formally conferred the undertaking, administration and co-ordination of the search and rescue service to DGzRS.

Both parties agreed that the DGzRS would continue to carry out SAR services as a charity on an independent, voluntary basis and financed by its own funds. In fact, the DGzRS assumed a more or less public duty without claiming one cent of the public funding that is normally awarded to non-profit organisations.

Approximately 300.000 sustaining supporters keep the rescue crews operational through regular contributions. There are various provisions making sure that the funds entrusted to DGzRS are used appropriately to fulfil the many tasks of the organisation or are put aside for midterm projects. 180 fulltime employees and 800 volunteers are on call on 20 rescue cruisers and 40 lifeboats. 54 stations in the North Sea and Baltic Sea, on the mainland and the islands form a dense rescue network. All missions are co-ordinated by the central MRCC – Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre – in Bremen.

The DGzRS board of Chairmen operates on an honorary basis: the highest legislating body is the steering committee. Its main duties include support to and nomination of the board, amendments to the statutes and regional representation. Three full-time  managing directors are responsible for the areas of rescue service/operations,
business administration and finance, as well as press and PR activities.

Thank you!

Thank you - what else can anyone say after being given a second life by the lifeboat rescuers? One more word would be too much, as this kind of thanks really comes from the heart.

We would like to extend this "Thank you!" to every single person who supports us and gives our crews the security of a happy homeward journey!