Press statement14.12.2018

“To make the impossible possible, is part of the European culture.”

Regensburg, Rostock, Cuxhaven, Algeciras

Sea-Eye has sent out the German research vessel “Professor Albrecht Penck” to the Mediterranean on 1st of December. In the night to Friday (14.12.2018) the ship reached its port of destination in Algeciras.  

  • “Professor Albrecht Penck” is the first ship of a civil rescue organisation under German flag
  • The transfer started two weeks ago in Rostock
  • Crew members from all parts of Germany are on their way to Spain
  • The crew will watch over international waters off the Libyan coast over Christmas
  • High contributions through churches and major donors
  • Support through the ship owner of “Aquarius” with professional navigators and sailors

The mission of the first German ship, in the hands of a civil rescue organisation, is imminent. In the night of Friday, the ship crossed the Strait of Gibraltar and reached the Spanish city of Algeciras.

Seafarers, human rights observers and Sea-Eye rescuers are on their way to Spain from all parts of Germany. The captain from Hamburg, Klaus Merkel, will lead the first NGO ship under the federal flag, into a three-week observation mission at the beginning of the new week. The families of the crew members will have to miss their mothers, daughters, fathers and sons during Christmas this year.

This mission was made possible above all by the generous financial support of individuals, especially from Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg. However, the Sea-Eye aid project was also funded for the first time by the Evangelical Church (EKD) and repeatedly by the Mennonite Relief Organization. The Mennonites further supported the project by providing the organisation with a full-time mechanic for 3 months. Due to the high financial requirements, the organisation is financially in troubled waters. The first mission is financially secure. Whether Sea-Eye can immediately start with new missions in the beginning of 2019, is still uncertain.

„More than once we were threatened to fail, but European culture requires us to think the impossible and to ultimately make it possible.“ Many people and societal powers took part in the Sea-Eye 2 project, so that every project-endangering circumstance could be eliminated. How the situation will evolve from here on, lies not solely in our hands.“ Gorden Isler, spokesman Sea-Eye e.V.

The association Sea-Eye e.V. was founded 2015 in Regensburg. More than 800 voluntary rescuers participated in the rescue of 14,378 people under the Dutch flag in more than 60 missions with the „Sea-Eye“ and „Seefuchs“ fish trawlers. In the summer of 2018, the organisations’ board decided to send two new ships under German flag on mission. The “Bavaria One” and the „Professor Albrecht Penck“.

„Sea-Eye“ will watch over international waters off the Libyan coast over Christmas