The German Maritime Search and Rescue Service (German: Deutsche Gesellschaft zur Rettung Schiffbrüchiger — DGzRS) is responsible for Search and Rescue in German territorial waters in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, including the Exclusive Economic Zone.
The headquarters and the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre of the Society are located in Bremen. It was founded in Kiel on 29 May 1865. It owns 61 lifeboats at 54 stations which are operated by 185 employed crew members and 800 volunteers. The society has about 2000 engagements every year. Up to 2005, it rescued approximately 72,000 persons. In 2004 it saved 368 lives, rescued 837 persons from critical situations and carried out 343 medical transports. The DGzRS is entirely financed by membership fees, private donations and legacies.
Writer and honorary member Nikolai von Michalewsky has immortalized the DGzRS in his series of science fiction novels by taking it as the model for his «Independent Society for Saving Spacewrecked».