Sea rescue boat "Hermann Onken" of the DGzRS in action for the burning sailboat near the East Estuary
On Monday, June 6th, an aluminum sailing boat burned out completely in the eastern estuary on the Lower Elbe. Around 12.10 p.m. a pleasure craft called the rescue cruiser "Hermann Helms" from the Cuxhaven station of the German Society for the Rescue of Shipwrecked People (DGzRS) over the international radio emergency and call channel 16: The crew had observed on the Lower Elbe near the eastern estuary, like another Pleasure boat towed a burning sailboat.
A firefighter from the Cuxhaven professional fire brigade on board the "Hermann Onken" fighting the fire
While the rescue boat "Hermann Onken", which was also stationed in Cuxhaven, cast off immediately, five firefighters from the Cuxhaven fire brigade boarded the "Hermann Helms" before the cruiser set course for the scene of the accident. At about the same time, the two rescue units arrived at the eastern estuary. At this point the ship was about nine meters long and had already been towed a little way up the Oste and was anchored there. Three of the firefighters switched to the "Hermann Onken" and started fighting the fire. The "Hermann Helms" in turn took over the solo skipper from a small boat of the water police that had initially taken him on board. The 74-year-old received first aid in the on-board hospital of the rescue cruiser. If there was a suspicion of smoke inhalation, the sea rescuers "put the levers on the table" and immediately ran back to Cuxhaven. There they handed the man over to the land rescue service
The damaged vessel, about nine meters long, burned out completely
In the meantime, the "Hermann Onken" continued to fight the fire. After about half an hour it was possible to get the fire under control. The damaged vessel was then cooled further until a buoy lay-up from the Waterways and Shipping Office reached the site of the accident in order to determine recovery options.
Christian Stipeldey, press spokesman for the DGzRS, said nothing was to be seen of the sports boat that is said to have towed the damaged vessel when the sea rescuers arrived at the scene of the accident. It is also not yet clear why neither of the two boats made an emergency call themselves.