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The German Society for the Rescue of Shipwrecked People (DGzRS) contradicts a statement by Karin Roth (SPD), Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development.

With regard to a supposedly increased risk while sailing, she explains in the current YACHT: "The DGzRS alone carries out around 2000 missions a year for pleasure craft in distress."

After the magazine went to press, the YACHT received a detailed annual balance sheet for the sea rescuers. According to these statistics, their ships ran out for a total of 2001 trips last year, including all assistance for commercial shipping and not just “for pleasure craft in distress.” According to DGzRS, only a little more than a quarter of these missions, namely 530, concerned “sailing yachts (including dinghies)”.

The number of those rescued from distress at sea across all sectors - sport and commercial shipping - decreased by around 29 percent to 90 in 2006 compared to the previous year.

Experience has shown that it is not acute distress at sea, but technical defects - mainly machine failure - that play the largest role in requests for help from recreational skippers to the DGzRS.

In addition, the Schleswig-Holstein water protection police reported that in 2006 they recorded a total of 161 sports boat accidents (motor and sailing yachts) in their area of responsibility, in the previous year there were two fewer.

These data invalidate the assumption that the safety situation in sailing has turned negative. The Ministry of Transport bases its currently discussed plans for new regulations and tightening in cruising sailing on this justification.

Background information and further information on this topic can be found in the current YACHT.

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