At the end of 2014, Sea-Watch grew out of an initiative of volunteers who could not stand on the sidelines witnessing people dying in the Mediterranean Sea any longer.

The European Union is committed to democracy and human rights, but at the same time it is continuing to isolate itself from people fleeing, whether by means of border security installations worth billions or agreements on readmission agreements with third countries such as Turkey, which are questionable and controversial under international law. As a result of this isolation, thousands of people drown every year trying to reach a safe harbour in the EU, many of them within sight of our shores and beaches.

That is why we have dedicated ourselves to sea rescue. No one deserves to die at the external borders of the European Union, seeking a safe and more humane life.

We are trying to fill the gap of an institutionalised, comprehensive sea rescue with a clear mandate, such as Mare Nostrum, which saved more than 130,000 people but was not taken over by the EU and therefore ended, as long as possible and within the realms of our possibilities. We consider this to be our humanitarian duty. However, the fact that private organisations take over sea rescue in the Mediterranean instead of states cannot and should not become a permanent state! We call for an international, institutionalised sea rescue with a clear mandate and, in the long term, above all legal and secure entry routes for those seeking protection in the sense of a #SafePassage.

Since the beginning of 2015, our constantly growing organisation, which consists mainly of dedicated volunteers from all over Europe, has been working on the project organisation and realisation of Sea-Watch. We finance ourselves exclusively through donations.

We try to save as many people as possible from death by drowning. Sea-Watch has so far been involved in the rescue of well over 35,000 people.

On May 19, 2015 the association Sea-Watch e.V. was founded, which is responsible for our work as a non-profit legal entity (German non-profit organization: VR 34179 B).


  • Johannes Bayer (Chairman of the Association)
  • Joshua Krüger (Deputy Chairman of the Association)
  • Klaus Stramm (Treasurer)

Humans of Sea-Watch


Maggie and the sea

Maggie, 31, has been actively engaged against fortress Europe for years. She studies Arabic in Tunisia and is one of the founders of the Watch the Med Alarmphone. When during her shifts on the Alarmphone she has been in contact with people in distress, she longed for nothing more than a ship or a helicopter…

Control over the Trolls

Our Facebook Moderator engages daily in the struggle for truth – and against hate   ‘Watch out – all that hate does funny things to you.’ This phrase, which Leonie has heard a lot recently, keeps popping into her head. “What does it do to you? A lot of things I’m confronted with just make…

Where are all the advocates for European values?

Lion demands more humanitarian radicalism We meet Lion Kircheis in the small kitchen of the Sea-Watch office in Berlin, a cup of filter coffee in his hands. For others, it is the end of the working day soon. Lion will probably stay longer tonight, as usual. The 23-year-old would not refuse to work overtime, not…

“Rescuing people should be the norm”

Nothing runs smoothly without Welf, Sea-Watch’s head of logistics Can you really make a difference? With such a tiny ship? Is this really the right way of going about it? Welf Seyer was sceptical when he first read about Sea-Watch in a newspaper in 2015. Later, he heard that the project needed logistical and technical…

Solid as a rock

Sea-Watch Co-founder Matthias Kuhnt does not give up his goals, even if he runs into strong political headwind

Legal office

Sea-Watch e.V.
c/o dka-Anwälte
Immanuelkirchstraße 3-4
10405 Berlin

Questions about the association?

Berlin Office

Sea-Watch e.V.
Trelleborger Str. 4
10439 Berlin