The DLRG as host of the conference and efficient water rescue organization

TitleThe DLRG as host of the conference and efficient water rescue organization
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsWilkens, K
Conference NameWorld Conference on Drowning Prevention
Date Published10/2013
PublisherInternational Life Saving Federation
Conference LocationPotsdam, Germany

Dr. Klaus Wilkens (German Life Saving Society DLRG)

The German Life Saving Society (DLRG) was founded in 1913 at Hotel du Prusse in Leipzig after 16 people drowned after a crash of the pier at Binz / Rügen. One century later the DLRG represents with over 1.100.000 Members and supporters the worldwide biggest Life Saving Organization and stands for an efficient organization to win the challenge of drowning prevention. Per Example the drowning of 0-15 year‘s old children could be reduced by 82% in the last ten years.

The success of reducing drowning and develop effective drowning prevention strategies is based on different columns, which are represented by the WCDP 2013 Topics.

Supported by Nivea, the DLRG could realize different basic water education campaigns for children. Young Children get the rules for bathing taught at beach festivals along the coast of Northern and Eastern Sea, especially skilled DLRG lifesavers go into the kindergarten and educate the children themselves in best behaviour at the water and simple questions of self-rescue, child care worker were trained to teach children to swim and a campaign will offer the possibility to reach the „Seahorse Badge“ for every children in Germany.

With over 2.000 local clubs and over six million hours voluntary work per year, the DLRG is nationwide the Number one for Swimming and Lifesaving Education. With a range from Lifeguards, over Instructors up to specialist like Swift Water Operators and Rescue divers the DLRG is well prepared to reduce the number of drowning victims in Germany. One special project provides swimming education for tourists in Hotels of European Countries. During the last 27 years over all 69 projects could be realized in 16 European Countries. Some other important and successful projects are the voluntary Water Rescue Service along the German coast line and task forces for fast operation during flood disasters. Also, there exists a highly successful national rescue sport team. In 2013 five gold, two silver and two bronze medals at the world games in Cali, the second place at European Championship and the first place at European Junior Championships could be reached.

To finance science, special projects and information programs the DLRG Board and its branches and local clubs founded the „donation“ fund. In the meantime up to 2012 DLRG has been able to generate more than 610,000 donors with a donation income of more than 11 million Euros per year. This means, that about 50% of Income could be generated out of Donations.

With 63% of member younger then 27 years old, the DLRG will confronting the next challenge - the demographic change in Germany - with special projects for people older than 50 years.