Surface water rescue

The term includes all water rescue aid in bathing, boat and Eisunfällen.

Water Rescue Service

For water rescue includes all first-aid services, which are required in close proximity to water. Also, be carried out under the water rescue salvage of material goods in order to avoid accidents, adopted tasks for recovery of debris and securing of dyke systems in disaster management.

The water rescue service is taken over by charities such as in Germany by the St. John 's Ambulance, DLRG, water rescue, the ASB or the GMRS, as well as in Austria by the ÖWR. These organizations often take over the security services at designated swimming areas or at events on the water.

The water- based emergency services is referred to in Germany as a water rescue, short WRD. In WRD forces and material are organized and coordinated in order to achieve successful as possible aid in water rescue.

The Water Rescue Service ( WRD ) is carried out in self-responsibility, in the private or public order. In self-responsibility security tasks are performed in bodies of water the water rescue organizations where no order of the local authorities or issued by private individuals. In indoor and outdoor swimming pools and campgrounds supervision is often taken over by the water rescue organizations or of unorganized lifeguards. In general, the organizations or lifeguards working in the private job.

The public order is issued by the local authorities or health resorts and supported with financial resources. This includes the security service of bathing sites on inland waters and coasts organized in local water rescue service ( WRD ) or in Germany far organized Central Coast Water Rescue Service ( ZWRD ). In many regions there are mobile rapid deployment groups (SEG - water rescue ), water rescue trains or First Responders are alerted in water accidents or in case of disaster. In some states, these activities within the framework of civil protection laws, the Fire Protection and Emergency Response laws or EMS providers laws are regulated.

The classic water rescue service or central water rescue service is performed mainly honorary and voluntary emergency services of the St. John 's Ambulance, DLRG, water rescue, fire brigade and ASB. To this end, the forces are divided on guard towers, water rescue stations, motor lifeboat or other emergency vehicles and sent from a main station or control center for use.

Another form of organization is the establishment of so-called water rescue groups or fast- water rescue groups ( SEG). These task forces are self- employed and are under the guidance of a team leader water rescue. The water rescue groups are stationed in the guards the instigating organization and back in alarm to the incident location. In civil protection and large-scale emergencies, these groups are summarized in a Wasserrettungszug. This organizational model with a high degree of technology and improved staff presence is primarily practiced by public emergency services in the context of general security.

Locations and tasks

In water rescue service lifeguard be used on rivers, lakes and the coasts of the North and Baltic Seas. The forces watch over the safety of bathers and water sports enthusiasts. Among the most important tasks include the rescue of people and animals from water and risk of icing, the medical service care and support and salvaging objects, if they pose a threat. The water rescue service also protects forces and material on and around the water and helps in preventing and combating disasters and major incidents with.


Frequent aids in water rescue service are:

  • Rescue tube
  • Motor lifeboat (Short form: MRB )
  • Rescue ball
  • Buoy
  • Rescue board
  • Lifeline
  • Life jacket
  • Rescue line
  • Lifebelt
  • Rescue Rods


To fulfill the tasks lifeguards are off and then trained water rescuers. Further education and training to flow, flow and air rescuers and paramedics, radio operators, boaters and rescue divers often make the necessary technical and sometimes difficult means possible.


  • In Germany the Water Rescue Service of the four major organizations, the St John 's Ambulance, the lifeguard at the German Red Cross, the German Life Saving Society ( DLRG ) and the Workers ' Samaritan Federation is performed. The German Society for Sea Rescue is the only donor funded organization in the rescue. In addition, the Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW ), the fire department and the volunteer organization distress service ( FSD) involved in water rescue.
  • The water rescue is also performed in Austria by several organizations. There are organizations Austrian Water Rescue ( ÖWR ), Workers ' Samaritan Federation Austria ( ASBÖ ) and Austrian Youth Red Cross of the Austrian Red Cross. With the increase of outdoor activities like canoeing or rafting the ÖWR also specialized in the rescue of white water hazards.
  • In Switzerland, the water rescue of the Swiss Life Saving Society ( SLRS ) is performed. It leads among other things, the sea rescue services through on the Swiss side of Lake Constance.

International water rescue by the ILS (International Life Saving Federation) is represented.