Before its deployment as a rescue ship, the SEA-EYE 4 was used as an offshore supply vessel on the Baltic Sea. The ship is very well suited for rescue operations, partly because the large aft deck offers plenty of space for rescued people.
The SEA-EYE 4 was built in 1972 on the Scheepswerf Pattje in the Netherlands as an offshore supply vessel for a Norwegian shipping company. It changed hands and names several times in its history. Most recently, the ship was called Wind Express before it was bought by the Sea-Eye e.V. association at the end of 2020 and christened "SEA-EYE 4" in February 2021. The ship had its first rescue mission in May 2021 and now sails under the German flag.
Thanks to thousands of donations, United4Rescue was not only able to significantly finance the purchase and conversion with a total of 857,000 euros, but also make the first missions of the SEA-EYE 4 possible. With a further 425,500 euros, United4Rescue also enabled rescue missions in 2021 and 2022.
The SEA-EYE 4 is equipped with an infirmary and two fast rescue boats to bring boat refugees on board and provide them with medical care. The ship's electrical and nautical equipment, accommodation and much more are also adapted for the important task as a rescue ship. The two dinghies are lowered quickly and safely into the water using cranes when needed.
By the end of 2022, the SEA-EYE 4 has saved the lives of more than 2,400 people in ten missions.
You can find many pictures of the SEA-EYE 4 and its missions on our Flickr account.
FAQ SEA-EYE 4
What kind of ship is the SEA-EYE 4?
The SEA-EYE 4 was used as an offshore supply vessel in the Baltic Sea until the end of 2019. It was built in 1972, is over 55 metres long and 11 metres wide. Due to its design, the ship is very well suited for rescue operations. The SEA-EYE 4 is equipped with a hospital and two fast rescue boats to bring boat refugees on board and provide them with medical care. The ship's electrical and nautical equipment, accommodation and much more have also been adapted for the new task as a rescue ship. The ship sails under the German flag.
Who owns the SEA-EYE 4?
The SEA-EYE 4 belongs to the sea rescue organisation Sea-Eye e.V., which also operates the ship. United4Rescue was instrumental in the purchase and conversion of the ship.
How many rescued people can the ship accommodate?
The SEA-EYE 4 is large enough to safely accommodate a large number of rescued boat people. When the ship is in operation, there are up to 22 people on board as crew.
How much does a rescue ship cost?
Purchase prices vary from ship to ship — depending on type, equipment, condition. Our first alliance ship, the Sea-Watch 4, was acquired with a bid of 1.3 million euros. Our second alliance ship, SEA-EYE 4, cost 250,000 euros. However, the purchase alone is not enough. Further considerable costs are due for conversion and operation.
What does it mean that the SEA-EYE 4 is an alliance ship of United4Rescue?
United4Rescue was instrumental in the purchase of the SEA-EYE 4 — but remains connected to the ship even beyond that. The many donors and allies of United4Rescue stand behind the ship — even if it is arrested or the crew is criminalised and attacked.