German sea rescuers book training ship inland

Schiffswerft Barthel on the Elbe joins yards building for the DGzRS Schiffswerft Barthel on the Elbe joins yards building for the DGzRS

The German maritime rescue service DGzRS has ordered a designated training ship from an inland yard and says it will be about 22m long and “unique”, reports Tom Todd.

The DGzRS said construction was starting in autumn at the Schiffswerft Barthel, near Magdeburg on the Elbe and about 250 kms inland. It is the first time the service has used the shipyard, which builds specialist boats, some of them on a regular basis for Germany’s Waterways and Shipping Administration (WSV).

Traditionally the sea rescue service builds its bigger cruisers at the Fassmer shipyard on the Weser and its smaller ones at Tamsen Maritim in Warnemünde near Rostock in east Germany. Explaining the decision now to go inland to the Schiffswerft Barthel the DGzRS said the yard “has a lot of experience in building boats like this”.

The service said the new training ship is expected to enter service in 2021 but stressed it will not be used for rescue missions. It will be a conventional ship with a standard displacement steel hull and be used primarily to teach safety and seamanship - going alongside, towing, manoeuvering, technical navigation such as radar training, and collision and encounter - as well as the recovery of injured people from ship interiors. “We are preparing for an intensification of our own personnel training, because the numbers of German mariners continues to fall off”, said Marco Behns, who heads the DGzRS rescue service.

The new boat will be for use at any of the DGzRS stations between Holland and Poland. It will be something like existing 10.1m Class boats but details are not yet known, spokesman Christian Stipeldey told Maritime Journal. “There is no similar boat. She will be unique”, he stressed.

However the newbuild is expected to be some 22m long and 1.6m wide and develop 11 knots from two Cummins engines “which will be identical to those on newer DGzRS sea rescue boats”. This would make possible both standard and advanced technical training of volunteers, the service said. it said.

The new boat will join two others used for training in the 9.5-10.1m Class . The DGzRS also said it will in future make more use of its biggest sea rescue cruiser the 45.6m Hermann Marwede for training.

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