A new rescue boat of the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service (DGzRS) was named GERHARD ELSNER on Saturday, January 19th 2019, the opening day of the 50th "boot" in Düsseldorf. Even before it went into service, the newest special ship of the rescue service made an unusual voyage to the world's largest water sports exhibition. It can be seen there until January 27th. Its area of operation will be the much frequented Kiel Fjord, which is popular with water sports enthusiasts.
"We are very pleased about this special boat christening on the occasion of our trade fair anniversary as a sign of the solidarity of the community of water sports enthusiasts with the strong community of 'their' rescuers on the North and Baltic Seas", said Petros Michelidakis, Director of the "boot" Düsseldorf, in his welcoming address to the christening of the new vessel at the trade fair stand of the sea rescue service in Hall 14 (booth D65). As it has always been the case, the entire work of the sea rescue service is financed exclusively by donations and voluntary contributions.
Deployment in the water sports area Kiel Fjord SRB 73 will be stationed in the Olympiahafen Kiel-Schilksee. Kiel Fjord and Kiel Bay are considered the Mecca of water sports. "Single-handed sailboats, traditional ships and modern yachts as well as large ferries and many cargo ships are cruising there," says foreman Hans-Jürgen Naumann, describing the busy waters of his team of 25 volunteer sea rescuers. Several thousand yacht berths, the Kieler Woche as one of the biggest sailing events in the world as well as many other regatta series with large fields in almost all boat classes every year testify to the importance of this area for water sports enthusiasts. The area is also popular with deep-sea and sport anglers, surfers and kitesurfers. They are all at home at " boot" Düsseldorf. "And we are there for everyone when they need us," says Naumann.
Financed by the estate of a passionate sailor The name of the new ship commemorates the passionate sailor Gerhard Elsner from Berlin, who died at the end of 2016. He generously considered the sea rescuers in his will. The rescue boat was financed from his estate. His son Helmut presented a medal with the portrait of his father to the sea rescuers at the christening. It is to be hung up on board and - following a shipbuilding tradition - is to promise the crew safety, happiness and health.
The new rescue boat was christened by daughter-in-law Dr.-Ing. Gabriele Dorfstecher, who wished the GERHARD ELSNER and her crew a safe journey and a safe return home at all times. The new ship will replace the WALTER ROSE built in 2003 at the Schilksee volunteer station. She in turn will then move to the training station in Neustadt or will be used as a jumper.
Back in 1990, the daughter boat JAPSAND of the rescue cruiser EISWETTE received its name on the "boot" - as a token of gratitude of the sea rescuers to their numerous friends and sponsors in North Rhine-Westphalia. On the Rhine and Ruhr alone, more than 60,000 people regularly donate to the sea rescuers. And around 2,000 of the well-known red and white collecting boats have their "berth" there. The "boot" and many of its exhibitors have also been supporting the rescue service for decades.
High seaworthiness, extensive equipment The GERHARD ELSNER was built at the Tamsen Maritim shipyard in Rostock. Like all units of the DGzRS, it was designed as a self-righting unit, completely made of aluminium in the proven grid frame system. The boat type is characterized by high seaworthiness. It has good sea characteristics in ground sea and surf, manoeuvres flawlessly, withstands violent ground impacts and, thanks to the all-round fender system, is able to go alongside even at higher cruising speeds and under difficult conditions. For operations under the most difficult conditions, comprehensive safety criteria have been taken into account in the design. The rescue units of this type are equipped with state-of-the-art navigation technology, powerful towing and bilge harnesses as well as extensive equipment for first aid.
Key data SRB 73
Length overall: 10,10 m Width: 3 3,61 m Draught: 0,96 m Displacement: 8.000 kg Engine power: 380 PS Speed: 18 knots
About the sea rescue service The DGzRS is responsible for the maritime search and rescue service in the German areas of the North Sea and Baltic Sea. To fulfil its tasks, it keeps around 60 rescue cruisers and boats ready for action at 55 stations between Borkum in the west and Usedom in the east - around the clock, in all weathers. Every year, the sea rescue service carries out more than 2,000 missions, coordinated by the SEENOTLEITUNG BREMEN of the DGzRS (MRCC = Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre). The entire independent and self-reliant work of the sea rescuers is financed exclusively by voluntary contributions, without taxpayers' money. Since the foundation of the DGzRS in 1865, its crews have rescued around 85,000 people from distress at sea or saved them from imminent danger. The patron of the rescue teams is the Federal President.