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German Sea Rescue Teams Train for Cruise Ship Emergency with TUI’s New Ship

cruise ship emergency training
Medical team was airlifted to the ship during the training exercise (photos courtesy of DGzRS)

Published Jun 17, 2024 7:31 PM by The Maritime Executive

 

Germany’s sea rescue forces staged a training exercise, the largest of its kind, working in cooperation with TUI Cruises and its new cruise ship Mein Schiff 7. The 115,000 gross ton cruise ship with approximately a crew of 1,000 was the backdrop for the training exercise. The cruise ship was positioned off Warnemünde in Eastern Germany on June 15.

The organizers explained the exercise was the culmination of a series of joint training sessions and exercises by the Central Command for Maritime Emergencies and the German Society for the Rescue of Shipwrecked People (DGzRS) in recent months. It was designed specifically considering the growing cruise sector and the need for maritime emergency preparedness in Germany. 

The scenario for the training was that the cruise ship was unable to maneuver after a collision. Several people were designated as casualties, with crewmembers acting as the injured individuals. Mein Schiff 7 reported the incident to the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Center in Bremen also reporting that several people were missing after the collision. The crew of the cruise ship began to provide first aid to the patients.

 

One of the rescue boats alongside the cruise ship

 

Several response vessels were dispatched including the sea rescue cruisers Arkona, Bremen, and NIS Randers along with the sea rescue boat Konrad-Otto of the DGzRS. They all set course for the scene of the accident. 

The emergency command managed the exercise and sent a medical team from the Maritime Incident Response Group of the Kiel Fire Department to the scene. A Federal Police helicopter Super Puma transported the team and placed it on board the cruise ship using a cable winch. At the same time, the DGzRS's maritime rescue coordination center coordinated an area search on the Baltic Sea for the missing persons. One seriously injured person was transferred to the sea rescue cruiser NIS Randers for medical care in the rescue vessel’s hospital.

 

 

Since an unmaneuverable cruise ship poses a danger to shipping, an emergency towing operation was also carried out. The emergency tug Baltic, which is permanently stationed in the Baltic Sea, and the multi-purpose vessel Arkona of the Waterways and Shipping Administration were used for this training. The crew of the Mein Schiff 7 was able to establish the towing connection to both the multi-purpose vessel Arkona and the emergency tug Baltic.

The new cruise ship provided a unique opportunity for the training exercise. The ship was delivered last week and is currently running trial cruises to prepare for its christening next weekend. Organized deemed the training exercise a success helping them to prepare for a real emergency.