7 meter class of the DGzRS (1971) - 7-Meter-Klasse der DGzRS (1971)

7-meter class
The Tamina in the restored condition
The Tamina in the restored condition
Ship data
flag GermanyGermany Germany
Ship type Lifeboat
great 7-meter class
Owner DGzRS
Shipyard Evers -Werft, Niendorf
Schweers Shipyard , Bardenfleth
Commissioning 1971–1972
Decommissioning from 1987
Ship dimensions and crew
6,92 m (Lüa)
width 2,34 m
Draft max. 0,6 m
displacement 1,65 t
Machine system
machine Diesel engine
Mercedes-Benz OM 615
54 PS (40 kW)
10 kn (19 km/h)

The 7-meter class from 1971 of the German Society for Rescue of Shipwrecked People (DGzRS) was a series (class) of the 1st generation of lifeboats (SRB), which was put into service by the DGzRS after the Second World War . Two shipyards were awarded the contract to build twelve lifeboatsfor the stations on the North and Baltic Seas, which were given all North German maiden names without being baptized. The SRB stationed from 1971 onwards were in use until the end of the 1990s and some of them could be sold to foreign rescue services after they were decommissioned. Some specimens can be viewed as museum exhibits and sometimes have the original color "orange" again.


Daughter boat Ludje of the Schülke class

The starting point for the development of the first generation of SRB was the 5.5 meter long daughter boat of the Otto Schülke class, which was designed for the first time with a closed deck structure as a self -erecting device . By extending it to a length of 6.92 meters , a stretcher could also be accommodated in the cabin . The use of aluminum in the hull construction saved weight and reduced the draft to a maximum of 60 centimeters. To make it easier for people to be drifting in the water, the boats were given a rescue port on the port side of the self-draining cockpit . The double-walled hull was divided into watertight compartments by bulkheads to keep the boat buoyant even in the event of water ingress. The continuous keel protected the rudder and propeller and allowed “free dredging” when running aground. The typical "whale deck" of the new generation of lifeboats of the DGzRS is used for the quick removal of water that has been taken over [1] .

The boats, initially known as beach lifeboats , were controlled from the cabin . A slinger provided a good view to the front when the skipper was seated and steered the boat. In addition to this pane, oval portholes were installed on both sides . From hull number 17 (Kaatje) onwards , the boats had a continuous windshield in which the flinger was inserted. A tower hatch in the roof gave the skipper a clear all-round view when he was steering the boat while standing. If the oil-hydraulic control system failed, a tiller could also be used as an alternativebe driven in the stern. A second control system was located at the end of the body to operate the engine. A proven diesel engine from Mercedes-Benz was used as the engine, which with an output of 54 hp could provide 10 knots of speed via a screw drive. As with the 'big' models, the engine was cooled via the outer skin using cooling bags in the double-walled fuselage. [2] The body, heated by the engine, protected the occupants from water and cold, as well as from breaking tow lines falling back.

During the development, the problem of the lubricating oil supply to the car engine used had to be solved so that the engine can continue to run even if it capsizes. However, no water can penetrate the engine because the exhaust gas pressure is higher than the water pressure at the outlet point of the exhaustat position "Kiel above". One of the hallmarks of these boats was the vertical exhaust pipe. In the event of capsizing, all air inlets on the structure could be closed suddenly at the push of a button and then quickly opened again. For the very short time of the capsizing process, there is a sufficient reserve of air in the structure, so that neither the engine running at low speed can stand still nor the occupants suffer from a lack of air. Because of the extreme operating conditions, there were seat belts for the crew [1] .

Equipment and use

Detail exhaust and mast
Two 7-meter SRBs in Rostock in April 1990

The technical equipment consisted of a waterproof VHF marine radio system and a searchlight on the mast, where a radar reflector was also mounted. The series boats did not have their own radar device . GPS and echo sounder were later retrofitted for better navigation . A third-party bilge pump, a climbing net and medical equipment including a rescue stretcher were on board as rescue equipment for the boats. There was a robust towing device for towing damaged vehicles away and free, which could also be unlocked from within the body. [2]

The orders to build the twelve series boats were given to two shipyards . The four boats for the North Sea were built at the Schweers shipyard (today Lürssen) in Bardenfleth on the Lower Weser . The eight Baltic boats built the Evers shipyard in Niendorf on the Baltic Sea. The DGzRS put the white / orange painted boats into service from 1971 to 1972. As a new development and the first boat of its class, the Trientje was presented at the "International Lifeboat Conference" in the USA before it was commissioned [2] .

The 7-meter class boats gradually replaced the oldest motor lifeboats on the stations. The boats, which are mainly used in surf zones, beach and mudflat areas as well as in the area of ​​shallow sandbanks and reefs, have proven their worth due to their robust construction and good equipment. The shallow draft made it possible to hide people even in very shallow mudflats. Self-righting was never required, because a total overturning of one of the boats never occurred.

After the German reunification , some of the boats went to the GDR sea rescue service for rescue stations in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania . After the merger of the two companies from East and West on October 3, 1990, these boats were returned to the DGzRS [3] . A total of six of the 7-meter boats were relocated to the 'new' stations in the east after the fall of the Wall. After 15 years, the DGzRS was the first boat to take the Martje in Schilksee at the end of 1987out of service and sold the boat into private hands. The further shutdown of this fleet took place from 1992. The last two boats of the series left the stock in 1999 after 27 years of service. On average, the DGzRS replaces its rescue units after around 30 years, a period in which sufficient spare parts for the installed technology are still available. Possibly. Retired boats can serve as spare parts donors. In order to always be on the cutting edge of technology, it is cheaper to purchase new buildings instead of extensive and costly overhauls on 'old' boats.

Other boats outside of the series

7 meter class daughter boats
from the series of daughter boats the Max Carstensen
from the series of daughter boats the Max Carstensen
Ship data
flag GermanyGermany Germany
Ship type Lifeboat
great 7-meter class
Shipyard Schweers shipyard , Bardenfleth
Commissioning 1980 / 1981
Decommissioning from 2000
Ship dimensions and crew
7,0 m (Lüa)
width 2,34 m
Draft max. 0,6 m
displacement 2,5 t
Machine system
68 PS (50 kW)
10 kn (19 km/h)

The DGzRS has assigned three more lifeboats of the 7-meter class, which were originally carried as daughter boats on a rescue cruiser. In contrast to the series, the seven-meter-long boats have a 68-hp diesel engine and a radar device. The cabin of this generation of daughter boats was slightly larger with three windows on each side. All three boats were built at the Schweers shipyard.

Kaatje (II) (ex Mellum )
The type ship of the Eiswette class received a new daughter boat in 1990. The existing TB Mellum (built in 1980) wasrelocatedto the Fedderwardersiel Sea Rescue Station and named Kaatje (II)as SRB.

Umma (ex Anna )The daughter boat Anna came
from the rescuecruiser Fritz Behrens of the same 23.3 meter class and wasalso replaced by a newer one in 1990. The DGzRS moved the Anna (built in 1981) to the Damp Sea Rescue Station and named it Umma (II)as SRB. Up until this point in time, there was a series-produced boat with the same name ( Umma (I))at this station, which was relocated to Norddeich and renamed to the place name.

Max Carstensen
Built like the other two daughter boats, the Max Carstensen (built in 1981) was used as a rescue boat from the start. Therefore, she also had the same equipment including radar.

Other 1st generation boat classes

In addition to the 12 boats of the 7-meter class, the DGzRS had created two further classes:

List of boats with operating times

  • Trientje (Evers), deployment time 1971 → July 1993, later renamed Mövenort
  • Doortje (Evers), Einsatzzeit September 1971 → June 1988
  • Swantje (Evers), deployment September 1971 → May 1994
  • Grietje (Evers), deployment time March 1972 → April 1993, later renamed Swanti
  • Martje (Evers), deployment March 1972 → December 1987
  • Bruntje (Evers), deployed July 1972 → November 1992, later renamed Mövenort
  • Kaatje (Evers), deployment time July 1971 → September 1999, later names: Bruntje , Südperd
  • Eltje (Evers), deployment time July 1972 → November 1992
  • Gesina (Schweers), deployed June 1971 → November 1993
  • Tamina (Schweers), assignment July 1971 → April 1994
  • Umma (Schweers), deployed July 1972 → October 1999, later names: Norddeich , Mövenort
  • Ilka (Schweers), employed July 1972 → April 1994, later renamed Mövenort
  • Kaatje (Schweers) - former daughter boat, operating time SRB January 1990 → April 2000
  • Umma (Schweers) - former daughter boat, operating time SRB February 1990 → June 2003, later renamed Eltje
  • Max Carstensen (Schweers), assignment May 1981 → March 2002


As museum boats, mostly painted in the last color scheme red-green-white, have been preserved:

Swantje stands in front of the Wind Force 10 museumin Cuxhaven . [4]

Grietje lies as Umma in front of the International Maritime Museum in Hamburg's Speicherstadt .

Bruntje stands in front of the Maritime Museum in Haren (Ems) .

Kaatje is named Südperd by the two lighthouses at Cape Arkona .

Gesina is in original orange on Wangerooge in front of the island museum.

Umma is named Mövenort in the German Maritime Museum in Bremerhaven .

The two 7-meter daughter boats can also be viewed as a museum:

Kaatje (II) is located on the spa promenade in Westerland on Sylt

Eltje (II) stands in front of the North Friesland Maritime Museum in Büsum

The Trientje is privately maintained and preserved in a restored and functional condition (deck and cabin in orange) together with other former rescue units. The boat has been in a marina on the Rhine-Herne Canal since 2005 . The Tamina also went into private hands and has been restored and preserved in roadworthy condition. In 2005 it served as an eye-catcher in front of the Focke Museum in Bremen at the exhibition "Out of Storm and Not: 140 Years of the German Society for the Rescue of Shipwrecked People" [5] . The Eltje was the only boat to be scrapped. The rest of the boats have been sold.


Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b John Schumacher: The distress cruiser. Development and construction program from 1957 to 1976 . German Society for the Rescue of Shipwrecked People, Bremen 1986.
  2. a b c Beach lifeboat Trientje on forum-seenot.de , accessed on October 5, 2020
  3. Seenotretter reunited for 25 years on seenotretter.de , accessed on October 30, 2020
  4. ↑ The lifeboat “Swantje” as an eye-catcher on cnv-medien.de , accessed on October 5, 2020
  5. Exhibition in the Focke Museum at nwzonline.de , accessed on October 6, 2020