German Maritime Search and Rescue Service

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Deutsche Gesellschaft zur Rettung Schiffbrüchiger
German Maritime Search and Rescue Service racing stripe.svg
Racing stripe
Logo DGzRS neu.svg
DGzRS logo
Formation29 May 1865
Legal statusCharity
PurposeSaving lives at sea
Region served
North Sea
Baltic Sea

The German Maritime Search and Rescue Service (German: Deutsche Gesellschaft zur Rettung Schiffbrüchiger - DGzRS; lit. German Society for the Rescue of Shipwrecked Persons) is responsible for Search and Rescue in German territorial waters in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, including the Exclusive Economic Zone.

The headquarters and the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre of the Society are located in Bremen. It was founded in Kiel on 29 May 1865. It owns 61 lifeboats at 54 stations which are operated by 185 employed crew members and 800 volunteers. The society has about 2000 engagements every year. Up to 2005, it rescued approximately 72,000 persons. In 2004 it saved 368 lives, rescued 837 persons from critical situations and carried out 343 medical transports. The DGzRS is entirely financed by membership fees, private donations and legacies.

Writer and honorary member Nikolai von Michalewsky has immortalized the DGzRS in his series of science fiction novels by taking it as the model for his "Independent Society for Saving Spacewrecked".


The DGzRS operates 59 vessels on 54 stations in the North Sea and Baltic. 20 of which are seagoing cruisers (German: Seenotrettungskreuzer) between 20 m and 46 m of length and 39 vessels are classified as inshore lifeboats (German: Seenotrettungsboote). A feature of the cruisers is that all but the 20-m class carry a fully equipped small lifeboat on deck which can quickly be released through a gate in the aft for conducting operations in shallow waters. This principle was developed by DGzRS in the 1950s.[1] The 20-m class uses a rigid-hulled inflatable boat instead.[2]


Name Station Remarks
46-m class
Hermann Marwede Heligoland biggest ship of the DGzRS
36.5-m class
Harro Koebke Sassnitz
28-m class
Ernst Meier-Hedde Amrum
Berlin Laboe
Anneliese Kramer Cuxhaven
27.5-m class
Alfried Krupp Borkum
Vormann Steffens Hooksiel
Arkona Warnemünde
Bremen Großenbrode
23.3-m class
Nis Randers Maasholm
Vormann Jantzen Reserve (Baltic Sea)
Hannes Glogner Reserve (North Sea)
23.1-m class
Hermann Rudolf Meyer Bremerhaven
Hans Hackmack Grömitz
Theo Fischer Darßer Ort
Bernhard Gruben Norderney
20-m class
Eiswette Nordstrand
Eugen Greifswalder Oie
Theodor Storm Büsum
Pidder Lüng List/Sylt


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Vor 50 Jahren: Erster Seenotkreuzer der DGzRS feierlich getauft". Seglermagazin (in German). Zellwerk GmbH & Co. KG. 12 February 2007.
  2. ^ "Flotte" (in German). DGzRS.

External links[edit]