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DLRG - rescuer of tens of thousands of people

Status: 14.05.2021 2.40 p.m.

The age of rescuers in red and yellow begins on October 19, 1913: the German Life-Rescue Society (DLRG) is founded. Swimming is becoming a fashion. The DLRG has already saved the lives of tens of thousands of people.

When it was founded on October 19, 1913, the DLRG made it your task to save people from drowning and to train lifeguards. In the first 100 years of its existence, its members were able to save more than 66,000 people from drowning. With around 575,000 members and sponsors nationwide, the DLRG has become the largest voluntary water rescue organization in the world.

An accident leads to the foundation of the DLRG

July 28, 1912 is a beautiful Sunday. The sun is shining and hundreds of bathers and day trippers stroll on the over 800 meter long pier of Binz on RĂ¼gen. When a steamer tries to dock shortly before 7 p.m., the landing stage collapses. About 100 people fall into the water.

Since the sailors of the surrounding warships come to the rescue immediately, most of the people can be saved. Nevertheless, 16 people, including two children, drown in the Baltic Sea. Because at the beginning of the 20th century, only around two to three percent of the population could swim. With this event, the desire for a life-saving society grows.

DLRG begins training lifeguards

The DLRG has been advertising since it was founded: The organization trains new lifeguards who can then work as watchkeepers on the beach, for example.

About a year later, on October 19, 1913, the DLRG was founded in the Hotel de Prusse in Leipzig. Just a few months later, the organization has over 400 members. Through lectures, courses and competitions, society aims to spread knowledge and skills on how to save lives and avoid emergencies. In addition, lifeguards are trained and tested for use on rivers and lakes, and security guards are set up.

Swimming is becoming fashionable

While in the first decades of the 19th century around 5,000 people lost their lives in the water every year, in the first 100 years after its founding, the DLRG succeeded in reducing the number of deaths by 92 percent and making swimming a fashion . Between 1913 and 2013, the DLRG saved around 66,000 people from drowning. In 2020 alone, the emergency services saved 950 people from death.

Help with helicopters and dog teams

Today, around 47,000 DLRG volunteers watch over lakes, beaches and swimming pools with their headquarters in Bad Nenndorf, Lower Saxony (district of Schaumburg) and help out with helicopters, boats and rescue dogs, among other things, in flood disasters. In addition, thousands of new aspiring lifeguards are checked every year.

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Our story | 05/26/2020 | 9:00 p.m.