150 YEARS OF GERMAN MARITIME SEARCH AND RESCUE: mtu ON BOARD SINCE THE 1950S
Posted on May 13, 2015
To celebrate the 150th anniversary of its existence, the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service (DGzRS) will be launching the first of three search and rescue units of the new 28-metre class on 30 May 2015 in Bremerhaven.
- 150 years of German maritime search and rescue operations to be celebrated with launch of a new maritime SAR unit
- Six mtu engines for three new 28-metre search and rescue vessels scheduled for delivery by 2018
- mtu involved since the birth of the modern search and rescue vessel in the 1950s
FRIEDRICHSHAFEN/BREMERHAVEN – To celebrate the 150th anniversary of its existence, the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service (DGzRS) will be launching the first of three search and rescue units of the new 28-metre class on 30 May 2015 in Bremerhaven. The new SAR unit is to be based at the Amrum lifeboat station on the western coast of Schleswig-Holstein, where, together with the SAR units at the neighbouring stations, it will help to safeguard this area of the very busy German Bight. The new member of the DGzRS fleet is equipped with two 16-cylinder mtu Series 2000 engines and mtu’s Blue Vision New Generation automation system. The powerful, 2,880 kW propulsion system has been designed to ensure that it will remain operational even when the vessel is listing badly in extremely rough weather conditions. The mtu brand is part of Rolls-Royce Power Systems within the Land & Sea Division of Rolls-Royce.
Collaboration between the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service and mtu has a long tradition. One of the very first vessels to be equipped with mtu engines was the “Theodor Heuss“ back in 1957. It was a search and rescue vessel of the then new 23.2-metre class, subsequently to be established as the Theodor Heuss Class by the DGzRS after the completion of extensive sea trials. This was the first SAR vessel with a daughter boat to be built in series and was regarded as a technical milestone in the further development of SAR units. It was powered by three mtu engines and delivered a total output of 1,290 kW. According to the DGzRS, the construction of modern, versatile lifeboats entered a new, pioneering era when the “Theodor Heuss“ went into service – and still on board to this day is mtu, with propulsion engines, on-board power supply units and ship automation.
Today, the largest maritime search and rescue vessel operated by the DGzRS is the ”Hermann Marwede“. With a length of 46 metres, it is twice as long as the ”Theodor Heuss“ – and over five times more powerful. The “Hermann Marwede“ is powered by three mtu Series 4000 diesel engines, delivering a total output of 6,800 kW. The German Maritime Search and Rescue Service currently operates a fleet of some 60 SAR units – the 16 largest members of the fleet are equipped with a total of 27 mtu engines.
Exceptional demands placed on engines
“We head out to sea when others seek a safe haven“ – this is how the German lifesavers themselves describe what they do. SAR units have to be extremely manoeuvrable even in heavy seas. “This means that the engines must deliver high levels of performance and reliability around the clock, whatever the situation,“ says Carsten Panke from mtu Deutschland in Hamburg. He and his staff have been providing the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service with technical support now for many years. A vital feature of the SAR units in life-threatening situations, for example, is that the propulsion units will continue to operate even when the vessel is listing badly. This is made possible by the incorporation of a specially designed mtu system that includes a deep oil pan incorporating baffling, a modified crankcase breather, in addition to an engine monitoring and control system designed specifically for such situations.
A gas protection system was developed specifically for the 23.1–metre class maritime SAR unit. It ensures that the engines operate reliably, even if an explosive gas mixture is drawn into the cylinders from outside – as may be the case in an accident involving gas or chemicals.
Search and rescue at a glance
Each and every year, the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service teams respond to over 2,000 incidents. Since the search and rescue service was founded, close to 82,000 people in distress owe their lives to the rapid and selfless aid provided by the DGzRS, whose work is financed solely by donations and voluntary contributions – with no public funding whatsoever. The DGzRS, whose patron is the German President, receives no taxpayers‘ money to perform its tasks.
mtu Special to celebrate the Anniversary of the DGzRS: www.mtureport.com/150yearsDGzRS