Actress Sandra Hüller is patron of SEA-EYE 5

© Christian Hüller / Agentur Focus; Publication and redistribution are only permitted in connection with this press release.

From this summer, the sea rescue organisation Sea-Eye e.V. will be sending an all-weather lifeboat to join the rescue effort in the Mediterranean Sea. Beginning on World Refugee Day (June 20th) the organisation is looking for 3,000 ship sponsors to finance the missions.

The former German Maritime Search and Rescue Service (DGzRS) all-weather lifeboat NIS RANDERS will be saving lives in the Mediterranean as SEA-EYE 5. In order to finance the annual budget, the organisation is looking for 3,000 permanent donors to sponsor the ship and ensure the operation of the lifeboat with a monthly donation of 16.67 euros. With Oscar-nominated actress Sandra Hüller, Sea-Eye has gained a prominent patron for the ship.

“It is a great honour for me to be the patron of the SEA-EYE 5. Everyone has the right to freedom, peace and security. Sea rescue teams perform indispensable work that often means the difference between life and death. I want to support this valuable mission and help ensure that people in distress receive the help they so desperately need”, emphasizes Sandra Hüller.

The SEA-EYE 5 is Sea-Eye’s response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean, the world’s deadliest migration route. The flexible all-weather lifeboat was built in 1990 and belongs to the 23.3 metre class, a series of seven DGzRS lifeboats. Thanks to its powerful engines, the SEA-EYE 5 can quickly reach boats in distress at sea. Although the ship is smaller than the SEA-EYE 4, it can easily reach the harbours of Lampedusa or Malta to bring survivors to safety. The SEA-EYE 5 is therefore an important addition to the civilian rescue fleet, which has, since 2015, been filling the gap created by the EU ceasing state sea rescue operations.

“We are delighted to be able to send a strong signal in favour of rescue at sea, especially on World Refugee Day: In a few weeks we will be operating a fast and flexible all-weather lifeboat in the Mediterranean. The fact that we have been able to win Sandra Hüller as the patron of the ship strengthens us in our mission to continue saving lives on the world’s deadliest escape route,” says Gorden Isler, Chairman of Sea-Eye e.V.

As the NIS RANDERS, the all weather-lifeboat was in service off the coast of Maasholm in Schleswig-Holstein until 2018 and was operated by the DGzRS for a further two years without a fixed base. Most recently, the ship was privately owned. Before its first deployment in the central Mediterranean, the SEA-EYE 5 will be overhauled and her technology modernised. For the rescue of people in distress at sea, a daughter boat is carried in a stern hull that can be automatically retracted and extended. The ship also has a towing hook, mobile rescue equipment, and extensive navigation and radio equipment. There is also a sickbay on board. Its equipment and operation is made possible by the long-standing Sea-Eye partner organisation German Doctors e.V..

SEA-EYE 5 will be the fourth ship of United4Rescue, a civil society alliance initiated by the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) and supported by more than 900 partners. United4Rescue has launched a fundraising campaign to finance the purchase price of around €465,000. The conversion of the ship, the first missions, and part of the long-term financing are secured by two long-term loans from GLS Bank and a crowd campaign from its cooperation partner, GLS Crowd.