As of 11 October 2016, Sea-Eye has rescued 4912 people.
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The latest news and stories about Sea-Eye and our missions
Rheda-Wiedenbrück, Germany. Almost every day refugees are drowning while crossing the Mediterranean to Europe. Johannes Daelen is a man who no longer wanted to simply look on. The 22-year-old from Wiedenbrück, Germany, joined the aid organisation Sea-Eye and, on 3 October, helped to save almost 800 lives. It was their last night on board the Sea-Eye in[…]
For three weeks Regensburg man Moritz Andreesen will exchange his home for a fishing cutter in order to save refugees from drowning. By Stina Walterbach. Regensburg. In autumn 2015, Regensburg entrepreneur Michael Buschheuer started the project Sea-Eye. One year later, he and his team have saved almost 5,000 refugees from drowning in the Mediterranean. Now[…]
On German Reunification Day, the Sea-Eye undertook one of its most extensive rescue operations so far. During an operation that went on for 16 hours and involved 11 boats of different sizes, the Sea-Eye provided seven boats with life vests and some with life rafts. The crew of the Regensburg (Germany) aid organisation was able[…]
A man from Hemau, Germany, on board the “Sea-Eye.” Hemau, Germany. Chris Orlamünder has helped to rescue people in distress: people who are fleeing, people in the Mediterranean Sea, refugees. He has done it from compassion, as a Christian – and as a sailor. A sailor who was once in distress himself. A broken mast[…]
By Sigi Schritt. Leeste, Germany. Carsten Heinekamp from Leeste, Germany, will stop looking on while the refugee drama in the Mediterranean unfolds and will instead take action. “Everyone helps where he or she can,” he explains his motivation for joining the rescue team of the organisation Sea-Eye e.V. in October. Heinekamp registered as a volunteer[…]
A crew member of the Regensburg refugee aid project “Sea-Eye e.V.” talks about his enforced stay in Libya. By Dagmar Unrecht. Regensburg. It is a story with many contradictions: two members of the Regensburg refugee rescue project Sea-Eye e.V. were released a week ago from custody by the Libyan coast guard. Their enforced stay in[…]
In early September the Libyan coast guard arrested two crew members of the private refugee aid organisation Sea-Eye. Dittmar Kania was one of them. He tells of confusions, machine guns and nights on mattresses on the floor. By Sebastian Girg. The Sea-Eye has been cruising the Mediterranean since spring in order to rescue refugees in[…]
By Wolfgang Ruppert. Amberg in der Oberpfalz, Germany. A fishing cutter has a five-member-crew. If it is used as a refugee boat, “between 130 and 140 people get pushed on board,” Volker Ignatz explained. The man from Amberg was promoting his organisation Sea-Eye e.V. in the town’s ‘Art Combine’. “The organisation was founded by people[…]
Two migrant aid workers from Germany who were held by Libyan coastguards have been freed, the group Sea Eye said Wednesday, adding that the circumstances of their arrest remain unclear.
Two migrant aid workers from Germany who were held by Libyan coastguards have been freed, the group Sea Eye said Wednesday, adding that the circumstances of their arrest remain unclear.
14.09.16. Monday evening saw the release of the two crew members of the sea rescue organisation Sea-Eye, who had been detained in Libya. According to the Libyan coast guard they had entered Libyan territorial waters without permission. The two 68-year-old men were travelling on their speedboat last Friday and allegedly entered Libyan waters. The Libyan authorities arrested them. According[…]
The Sea-Eye was on its way to Tunisia in order to take the two released Speedy collaborators to dry land, when the Italian coast guard called on 13 September at midday: sighting of a rubber boat at 33’03N 12’34E. The boat was intact, with 124 refugees on board, no children. At 13:15 we started launching our dinghy. We[…]
On Friday 9 September, our speedboat Speedy was patrolling off the Libyan coast, when suddenly a boat with an armed crew approached them at high speed. Later it turned out to be a boat of the Libyan coast guard. The Libyans forced our two members Dittmar Kania and Michael Herbke to heave to. The two[…]
Tripolis/Malta, 12 September 2016. The two Sea-Eye crew members who were arrested last Friday on their speedboat “Speedy” by the Libyan coast guard, were released on Monday evening. The two men are currently on the German navy ship “Werra”, which will take them to the Sea-Eye. They will continue from there to the Sea-Eye’s base[…]
After a truly incredible effort, Sea-Eye’s Mission 11 can finally start. In order to get the engine running again, spare parts that were not available in Malta, needed to be flown in. Jan Eric Felsing, a friend of Sea-Eye e.V. from Rostock, Germany, kindly took the “life-saving” parts from Berlin to Malta by plane. Photo[…]
By Maja Hinrichs. The Sea-Eye crew rescue refugee boats off the Libyan coast on a former East German fishing cutter. For Timo Döring from Oldenburg, Germany, it is his first mission. “Not because I know so well how to do it, but because it is clearly necessary and I can see the need.” This is[…]
By Irma Held. Michael Buschheuer’s way of presenting is matter-of-fact, objective and calm, without the lamentations or excitement of many committed helpers. But what he says leaves his audience affected. And he compares the Sea-Eye with the fire brigade. Ich The man from Regensburg calls the organisation he founded a “fire brigade” because the volunteers[…]
Project ‘Sea-Eye’: Steuber is on mission with the rescue boat Sea-Eye off the coast of Libya. By Tanja Proisl. Other people are spending their holidays at the beach, but Susanne Steuber wants to save lives. As of today, the woman from Offenburg, together with other volunteers, is on mission with the rescue boat Sea-Eye off[…]
The Sea-Eye is on Facebook in English now. This is thanks to Sebastian Troll, who recently joined the organisation and who set up the English language page. The Facebook page complements our English language website and newsletter. And it extends the international reach of our news and stories about the Sea-Eye and the developments in[…]
By Birgit Lehmann. Erftstadt. He wanted to cut the grass before his departure, Hans Derks says, looking out into his garden where two wild rabbits are cuddling. But other than that the man from Erftstadt does not need to prepare much for his journey. “Two pairs of trousers, three underpants and three T-Shirts fit into[…]
The non-for-profit spin-off of the Spanish lifeguard company Pro-Activa and two other German NGOs – Sea-Eye and Jugend Rettet – also started rescuing migrants in the Central Mediterranean a few months later. The Dutch charity Refugee Boat Foundation and Save the Children are set to start SAR operations soon.
By Bojan Stula. Raphael Brodbeck from Switzerland spent two weeks on a private rescue boat off the Libyan coast as a crew member. During this time pirates trained their sights on the ‘Sea-Eye’. On 17 August a serious incident took place in the southern Mediterranean of which the media took hardly any notice. Unidentified attackers on[…]
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) estimate that around 106,000 people have arrived in Europe via the dangerous sea route from Libya to southern Europe so far this year.
Rust, life vests and courage. Klaus Becker from Feuchtwangen, Germany, went to sea on the Sea-Eye: 1,000 refugees were rescued.
Most people take leave to relax. Others, like Klaus Becker from Feuchtwangen, Germany, commit to a two-week volunteer rescue mission in order to save refugees from drowning off the African coast. He was a crew member on the rescue boat ‘Sea-Eye’ of the Regensburg organisation with the same name, and together with his team he[…]
By Katrin Woitsch. Regensburg/München. Since Monday this week, 6,500 refugees have been rescued in the Mediterranean. The rescue boats are operating every day. Among them is the ‘Sea-Eye‘ from Regensburg, Germany. The crew members: taxi drivers, engineers, local politicians. Their aim: saving lives. The sea is calm during this July morning. It has not been that[…]
Photographs show Italian rescuers coming to the aid of asylum seekers on a smuggling boat that was so overcrowded that several had been forced to dangle their legs over the side. During the commotion of the rescue, some leapt into the water to reach safety.
27 August 2016. For a seaman the mass of deaths in the Mediterranean is one of the worst facts of a terrible time. We as seamen know what it is like out there, when the weather is bad, in the wide and lonely expanse of the sea. I can barely face imagining what the people[…]
The Sea-Eye is cruising the Mediterranean to rescue refugees. Drirven by a single aim: to save lives. Amberg in der Oberpfalz, Germany. By Christopher Dotzler. In the Mediterranean hundreds of people are drowning regularly: men, women and children. Michael Buschheuer from Regensburg, Germany, decided to stop looking on. As did several other people from the[…]
Since 06.45, we have been on our way, going east on the 24-nm-line west of Tripolis. The ‘Astral’ (a Spanish rescue boat) is in close proximity, east of us. 08.05 We sight a fast rubber boat approaching us from astern. Fearing that this could turn into a similar case to yesterday’s incident (the ‘Bourbon Argos‘, a ship[…]
Christian Eckert from Cologne, Germany, tells of dramatic moments on the private rescue boat “Sea-Eye”. Originally Christian Eckert (37) had planned to sacrifice two weeks of his leave in order to set an example and to help. Now the man from Cologne has already been on special leave for almost two months, travelling on a[…]
Michael Buschheuer is the chairman of the organisation “Sea-Eye”. On Saturday, he and his fiancée Hannelore said “I do” in Regensburg, Germany. By Tino Lex. Regensburg. On Saturday morning an unusual scene met the eyes of people in front of the old City Hall: men and women in bright yellow safety vests were standing in front of a[…]
Sea-Eye: Help for refugees is arriving from Regensburg, Germany. This year again the Mediterranean will become a graveyard for thousands of refugees. Regensburg man Michael Buschheuer decided to stop looking on and initiated the sea rescue organisation Sea-Eye. Since April, the alternating crews have rescued 3,890 people. But the recent terrorist attacks in Bavaria, Germany,[…]
Since April 2016, the Sea-Eye, a 60-year-old refurbished fishing cutter, has been patrolling the sea off the Libyan coast. The volunteer organisation Sea-Eye e.V. has already rescued close to 4,000 people in distress at sea. By Peter Berger. Some people have the impulse to do something. To not keep looking on while in the Mediterranean[…]
A growing number of refugees start their journey to Europe in Egypt – including more and more Egyptians. By Paul-Anton Krüger. Abdallah grandly sits on a red plastic chair. He is the master of a beach in Abu Qir, a town by the Mediterranean Sea, 20 kms East of Alexandria. Behind him several buildings with[…]
The Mediterranean Sea has developed the reputation for being the world’s most dangerous crossing. It’s thought more than 3,000 people have died in its waters this year.
By Irma Held. Schwandorf, Germany. These days Günther Pirnke is almost always at sea. As of Saturday for three weeks – this time privately. His two volunteer voyages as a skipper in the Mediterranean continue to have an effect – and probably will for a long time. Not physically. The 63-year-old is fit and in training. The[…]
Twenty-three-year-old social education worker Raphael Brodbeck takes on a very special mission off the coast of Libya. Raphael Brodbeck will do what most of us would like doing, but do not dare to: to help people in mortal danger on the spot. This coming Saturday the 23-year-old from Therwil, Switzerland, will check in on the[…]
Hans-Peter Buschheuer speaks with Dieter Kassel Every month hundreds of refugees die on their way across the Mediterranean. Organisations like ‘Sea-Eye e.V.’ are trying to help at sea. But in order to fight the misery effectively, there is a need to consider military options off Libya, says Sea-Eye co-founder Hans-Peter Buschheuer. The number of refugees[…]
Bert Schuler from Neuburg, Germany, spent two weeks off the Libyan coast searching for refugee boats. By Verena Belzer Neuburg. Bert Schuler from Neuburg decided to stop looking on: on board the Sea-Eye he spent two weeks searching for refugee boats in the Mediterranean – and saved many people from certain death. Doing this he[…]
02:00 The guard hears cries for help and whistles and sees weak light signals. Through our night vision device we sight a smallish boat holding some people. We launch the dinghy onto waves that are 1.5 metres high. Using a searchlight we head towards the boat: it is a small wooden fishing boat powered by an[…]
06:15 We sight a wooden boat, 17 nautical miles off the Libyan coast, 40 nm west of Tripolis. 06:30 Sighting of a second boat. At this point the first boat is clearly identifiable as an empty fishing boat. 06:35 We launch the dinghy and inspect the wooden boat. The boat is empty, “rescued” is written on its side,[…]
Within a few days, the Regensburg ship has rescued almost 750 refugees from sinking boats. 1 August 2016. Regensburg, Germany. On Monday morning, the Sea-Eye crew again came to the rescue of refugees on sinking boats. They found 245 people on two disabled boats in distress. Only two days earlier, the Regensburg boat had already saved the[…]
05:04 Italian coast guard call and request that we head towards search position. 06:40 Sunrise; we sight a boat, 18 nm north-west of Tripolis, take dinghy off suspension and launch it. We report to the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC). 06:45 We sight second boat and call the MRCC again. They tell us a battle ship is on[…]
By Ahmed Elumami TRIPOLI (Reuters) – More than 120 bodies of migrants who died trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe have washed up around Sabratha in western Libya this month, the city’s mayor said on Sunday. Hussein Thwadi said bodies had washed up on a daily basis, with 53 found on a single day[…]
The Italian coast guard was assisted by a British vessel deployed as part of the European Union’s Eunavfor Med, an Irish-flagged ship and craft operated by the NGOs, SOS Mediterranee, Jugend Rettet, Sea Watch and Sea Eye.
The morning of 29 July 2016 saw a dramatic rescue action. This is the report by Sea-Eye’s Mission 8 crew: 04:00 Engine gets started and search begins. Before sunrise at… 05:30 We sight a rubber boat, approximately 18 nm north-west of Tripolis, holding about 110 men and 30 women. A bit later, sighting of a second boat. Within 1.5[…]
29 July 2016 SWISTTAL, Germany. So far, the organisation Sea-Eye e.V. has directly rescued 1,507 people in distress at sea with its re-equipped old fishing cutter, also called Sea-Eye. The task of its volunteer crew is the search and rescue (SAR) of people in distress. Lawyer Sebastian Frings-Neß from Swisttal-Morenhoven, Germany, is a slim man[…]
Mayor Ada Colau begins counter with 3,034 – the number of migrants and refugees killed trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe in 2016
African migrants remain as determined as ever to reach Europe from Libya despite the growing number of deaths at sea.
In Licata, Sicily, our new speedboat ‘Speedy’ has been launched. The crew is now taking it to Tunisia. The first major test drive!
Almost every day we get to see them – terrible images of people who sit on a rubber boat in the Mediterranean Sea and are about to drown. They are refugees fleeing their homelands – and in their despair they are trying to reach Europe this way. For many it leads directly to their deaths.[…]
What drives people to put themselves into such mortal danger? The most difficult living conditions, utter poverty, persecution, hopelessness… The people smugglers take advantage of these facts, promise the refugees a better life in Europe and take their last money. They crowd the people into rubber boats, up to 140 on one boat of 7[…]
Views of Sea-Eye’s new speedboat.
From 7-22 June 2016, the Sea-Eye was undertaking its Mission 5. Skipper Wilfried Schnappauf PhD documented a rescue operation (to view please click) One day on the Sea-Eye 02:00 Someone wakes me up because the ship is on collision course. I wake up the engineer to start the engine. Starting process is later stopped because[…]
Sea-Eye mission 7: large scale operation together with sailing boat “Astral”. This is their report. 07:20 Two possible sightings at a distance of approx. 14 nautical miles. 07:40 Sightings confirmed: two rubber boats and two ‘fishing’ boats. 07:45 Inform MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre in Rome) 07:54 Spanish plane (TransAl) above us. We approach the[…]
Three children drown as Syrian refugees are plucked from freezing waters – with the flow of people showing no signs of slowing.
Amberg in der Oberpfalz, Germany. By Uli Piehler. The Mediterranean Sea has turned into a mass grave for refugees. Last Thursday the Italian navy recovered the wreck of a sunken cutter, with 675 dead bodies inside. Markus Neumann took part in a sea rescue mission in order to help preventing such tragedies. For two weeks the 48-year-old[…]
Off the Libyan coast Tobias Vorburg has saved hundreds of people from drowning – and yet, this time again, there were deaths in the Mediterranean Sea. By Korbinian Eisenberger The dinghy was rocking, the waves were getting stronger in the early morning hours. It was a day at the end of June, and[…]
Nürnberg man rescued 260 refugees with the “Sea-Eye” Since April 2016, the “Sea-Eye” has rescued almost 2,700 refugees in the Libyan Sea. Reinhold Mieth (63) from Nürnberg spent two weeks on board the rescue ship. Mr Mieth, six overcrowded boats, 260 lives, an impressive result. Did the Sea-Eye’s “Mission 5” change you? Mieth: I have[…]
Markt Schwaben, Germany. Rescue assistant Tobias Vorburg from Markt Schwaben, Germany, spent two weeks on the Mediterranean Sea in order to rescue refugees. This is how he fared and what he went through. Certain dramatic scenes are well known from German news and print media. Those film and photo shots of very overcrowded rubber or[…]
By Christopher Dotzler Schwandorf, Germany. On Sunday, the “Sea-Eye” again put to sea. For the nine-member crew it is a humanitarian mission. They want to save lives during their two-week operation. Schwandorf man Günther Pirnke (63) is the skipper. Together with eight other volunteers, the retired police man set off in Valetta, capital of Malta,[…]
This coming weekend, Günther Pirnke from Schwandorf, Germany, will go to sea. He will help to take refugees from the Mediterranean Sea to safety on dry land. By Hubert Heinzl (9 July 2016) Schwandorf. “Mission Seven” will begin this weekend for the man from Schwandorf, Günther Pirnke (62). Starting from the picturesque capital of Malta,[…]
In Augsburger Allgemeine By Bastian Sünkel He could not bear the images of drowning people any longer. Therefore an engineer from Bergheim, Germany, has set off to go to the Mediterranean Sea. To the place where bare survival is at stake. If you have ever seen a refugee boat on the high seas, you know[…]
Achim Stein really wanted to charter a sailing boat for his holidays in autumn and go sailing somewhere in the Mediterranean. But now the general practitioner from the German town of Cronenberg will join the Sea-Eye crew for two weeks in August to help rescuing refugees from the sea. When he was young, Achim Stein[…]
Claudia Benz spent 10 days together with volunteers on the Sea-Eye off the Libyan coast. In an interview with “Mannheimer Morgen”, she talks about her impressions. She has seen images on the spot that we normally only see on TV or in newspapers. Claudia Benz will never forget them. Tauberbischofsheim. Claudia Benz is a true[…]
For shipwrecked refugees in the Mediterranean all depends on fast action; Sea-Eye is collecting money for a patrol boat Regensburg. Next Tuesday Michael Buschheuer will again travel to Malta and from there into the operations area. But this time he is planning something different. With his organisation Sea Eye, the painter has rescued 2,652[…]
Act instead of talking: This is the motto of the Eastern Swiss Pilots’ operation for refugees. It has shown first results. The Sea-Eye was also alerted by the pilots. East Switzerland. “All the preparations and work during the past months were worth it already.” This is a press release quote by Fabio Zgraggen, pilot and[…]
The original operation reports of Sunday and Monday, 26 and 27 June 2016 Sunday, 26 June 2016 02:15 radio message MRCC Rome: Rubber boat with 130 people on position 33-05N 012-17E. Engine is working, boat on course 360 at 4-5 knots. Watch guard wakes up skipper and engineer. 02:35 Machines on and course towards position, taking into account course and speed of rubber boat. 03:20 Radio exchange[…]
Yesterday the private refugee rescue boat Sea-Eye again rescued refugees in the Mediterranean Sea. The organisation reports that, after an emergency call to the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MMRC) in Rome, hundreds of refugees in overloaded rubber boats could be rescued off the coast of Libya. The volunteer helpers of the Sea-Eye provided 115 people[…]
15 June 2016, 08:22 On Tuesday, the rescue boat Sea-Eye and its crew again rescued many people from acute distress. According to a recent report, the crew received an emergency call from the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MMRC) in Rome. Four rubber boats with people in distress had been sighted. Together with the crew of[…]
Open letter at the occasion of the vote in the German Parliament on 17 June 2016 13 June 2016 – The planned classification of Algeria, Morocco and Tunesia as so-called ‘safe countries of origin’ must be prevented. This is what Amnesty International and PRO ASYL demand in an open letter to the Chief Ministers[…]
Michael Buschheuer reports about the sea rescue of African refugees. The Sea-Eye has saved 1,500 people by now. By Sabine Häuslmann Sea-Eye – everything started with a refurbished fishing cutter “To let people drown means moral failure and is not justifiable in any way.” Michael Buschheuer, Sea-Eye founder In the beginning there was the desire[…]
The coming holidays for Udo Nuffer will be the toughest, most dangerous and most emotional of the entire year. Instead of lazily toasting himself in the sun somewhere, he will be in the international seas in the Mediterreanean. His mission: to save human beings from death off the coast of Africa. The man from Ebensfeld,[…]
By Stefan Aigner, Regensburg digital On Friday 27 May, the Sea-Eye reported to have rescued approximately 600 people off the African coast. Michael Buschheuer, an entrepreneur from Regensburg, founded this project. We spoke with him about his motivation and experiences. Mr Buschheuer, a few months ago you founded an organisation and bought a boat, the[…]
Video Impressions by Johann Pätzold (2:48 min.)
Reached the port of Licata. Here, the Sea-Eye is being prepared for sea rescue services until April 20 begins the first ride off the African coast.
How we rescue people from mortal danger
Sea-Eye wants to help rescuing people in distress and in danger of drowning during their highly dangerous crossing of the Mediterranean Sea. With our boat, a refurbished fishing cutter, we search for those in distress off the Libyan coast. The most important rescue measure is to send an SOS signal and to initiate professional help.
FIND PEOPLE IN DISTRESS
The refugees in their rubber and wooden boats have almost no chance of survival
INITIATE THE RESCUE
The boats must be secured, an SOS signal sent
CARE FOR THE INJURED
Many are exhausted and sick from the strains of their journey
RESCUE AND EVACUATE
Take the rescued people to safety
At Sea and on Land. People for Sea-Eye. Here you meet four of them.
Prof. Dr. Tilman Mischkowsky
Eva-Maria Deininger, PhD
Celebrities Support Sea-Eye
Watch their messages on YouTube (messages in German)
Who are we, what are we doing? The following eight people (of 250) explain why they committed to Sea-Eye .
Ursula Putz, PhD (46):
“Our most valuable possession is our life. Who grants us the right to decide how and if a human being may survive? I can no longer bear these senseless deaths in the Mediterranean Sea and absolutely refuse to accept them. A human life is and forever remains a human life!”
THE MEDICAL EXPERT
Wilfried Schnappauf (66):
“I joined the project because it is highly humanitarian and, as regards the boat, technically and nautically challenging. Within the limits of my abilities I want to make the world a good place for my granddaughter. I am 66 years old and three missions on the Sea-Eye have only strengthened my resolve.”
THE MEDICAL DOCTOR
Achim Stein, PhD (54)
“I have been working as a general practitioner for 22 years, and I am happy to offer my medical expertise to these missions. There it is much more urgently needed than in our smug and pampered society, where medical services too often degenerate into the treatment of “luxury aches.”
Renate Barnsteiner (58)
“I decided to join a Sea-Eye mission because I live a good life, and I could no longer passively watch the refugees’ misery. I am hugely grateful to have participated in our first sea rescue operation, which took place without deaths and injuries.”
Markus Neumann (46):
“I believe that we all come from the same source. Some call it divine. How could I therefore passively watch my brothers and sisters drown?”
Friedhold Ulonska (59):
“All human beings are equal. Would you like to drown? That is why I support Sea-Eye. Freedom must not come at the cost of one’s life. Not in Europe. Therefore – Sea-Eye.”
Udo Nuffer (52):
“In no way must we be moved to silence the voice of compassion in ourselves.” Albert Schweitzer
Sebastian Frings-Neß (46):
“European politics regarding refugees have failed due to egotism and nationalism. On the Sea-Eye we live European humanism.”