Germans expand sea rescue cruiser fleet

Fritz Knack joins German rescue fleet (Photo: DGzRS) Fritz Knack joins German rescue fleet (Photo: DGzRS)

The German lifeboat service DGzRS has taken its latest 20m Class sea rescue cruiser into operation writes Tom Todd.

The new 20m cruiser, Fritz Knack, is now serving out of Port Olpenitz on the German Baltic. Like many previous DGzRS boats, it has been built at specialist small ship and boat builder Fassmer Werft in Berne on the Lower Weser.

The newbuild replaces the 23m DGzRS rescue cruiser Nis Randers - which has served for 28 years - and is the sixth in the 20m Class to enter service since 2008. It is however only the second to serve in the German Baltic. The other four operate along the country’s busy North Sea and German Bight coastline.

Fritz Knack is 19.9m long, 5.05m wide, displaces 40 tons and draws 1.3m.  Along with state-of- the-art navigation, communication, locational, rescue and medical equipment, it also carries a fire-fighting cannon with a capacity of 140m3 an hour – that’s about  2,300 litres a minute.

With a crew of three, Fritz Knack is propelled by  Caterpillar C32 V12 engine of 1,190kW providing 22 knots over Reintjes ZWVS 440 gearing and a Schaffran five-blade propeller. It also has a Steyr SE 156, 110kW emergency/auxiliary drive of 120kW to get it home in the event of a breakdown.

The new boat also carries the 4.85m x 2.05m, 28 knot RBB tender Ingeborg from Finland’s Arctic Airboats.

The keel for the new 28m Class cruiser SK40, will reportedly be laid next spring. It will also be built at Fassmer Werft where a sister, SK41, is currently under construction. They will be the fourth and fifth boats in their class, introduced just three years ago, and will replace 27.5m boats from the 1980s.

The decision to name the new SK40 cruiser Hamburg is unusual for the DGzRS and is designed to encourage voluntary donations in Germany’s biggest universal seaport.

To be based in the DGzRS’ most westerly station on the East Frisian island of Borkum in the German Bight, SK40 will enter service in 2020 and be only the fourth boat to carry the name Hamburg in the 135 year history off the DGzRS.

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