A radio receiver of the rescue service control center in Stadthagen beeps from where it sits between a cup of coffee and the breadbasket. The display lights up: P.E.R.S.O.N. I.N. W.E.S.E.R. Even while the wicker chair teeters, the door is already closing. Seven minutes later the water rescue team from the DLRG Nienburg district is already headed toward the Weser. Part of the team: two Unimog 1300 L. Kai Hauser, deputy district Manager of the German Lifeguard Association (DLRG) for Nienburg: “We purchased both vehicles from the German military in 2013 and then converted them on our own.” The DLRG helpers hope that they can provide even more effective assistance in the event of disasters and for water rescue with the “Diving Vehicle” and the “Technical Vehicle”.
The convoy consisting of seven vehicles, three boats and 17 rescue workers approaches the location where fishermen apparently saw a body floating in the Weser. “The Unimog has been converted into a diving vehicle with an additional bench and now has enough space for six divers”, says Kai Hauser. In addition, the vehicle also has a frame to support two light sets of diving gear that can be lowered separately from the loading sill along with shelves holding other diving equipment. However, a rescue call-out demands more than just boats and divers. The team also needs additional equipment: “Our second Unimog, the Technical Vehicle, is more versatile, says Kai Hauser. “It enables us to properly transport additional materials such as lights, pumps, chainsaws and electricity generators.”
On its way to the river bank, almost nothing can stop the Unimog. “The closer we can get to the accident site, the faster we are ready to help”, explains Kai Hauser. This is an essential factor for increasing missing persons’ chances of survival. The rescue boats now battle the river’s strong current, travelling parallel to the Unimog. The helpers search the Weser. They consist of trainees, students and employees and are all joined by their volunteer work helping people in emergencies – whether during disasters or with water rescue. 500,000 members and 750,000 sponsors make the DLRG the world’s largest volunteer water rescue organization. The search for the suspected victim is eventually called off. Instead of a body the searchers found a sofa pillow. The effort involved for the rescue teams is the same in both cases. However, finding only a pillow is still good news for the helpers.
Unimog 1300 L 435
Year of manufacture
Unladen: 5,655 kg / max. 7,490 kg