"Civil sea rescue of people in flight.

Sea-Watch e.V. is a non-profit organization that conducts civil search and rescue operations in the Central Med. In the presence of the humanitarian crisis, Sea-Watch provides emergency relief capacities, demands and pushes for rescue operations by the european institutions and stands up publicly for legal escape routes. Since a political solution in the sense of a #SafePassage is not on the horizon, we have expanded our field of operation and made new plans. We are politically and religiously independent and are financed solely through donations.

Who we are

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 continuing to isolate itself from people on the move, 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 45,000 people.

Our Mission

Saving lives

Every single life saved through our initiative is a success and a stand for humanity. Creating awareness

Through our work, we provide information, thus drawing attention to the fate of refugees and migrants. We shine a light on the humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean so that no one can look away. Encourage imitators

There are many ways to become active. With our action we want to encourage other people to act. We would like to share our experience with all of those interested.


Civil sea rescue by organisations such as Sea-Watch saves people’s lives, but the fundamental problem lies not in sea rescue, but in the fact that Europe is sealed off to those who seek refuge in it. With our actions we advocate for the creation of safe and legal escape routes. Until then, there must be a common European sea rescue operation to prevent further deaths.

Our Vision

Sea-Watch stands up vehemently for the goal that no one has to die when trying to reach Europe’s shores. As long as the dangers at sea for refugees persist, we will invest all of our powers into providing civilian sea rescue. At sea, the law of emergency relief prevails. We want this to be implemented by everyone and not to be subject to political calculations by governments and institutions.

This is why we demand #SafePassage. Our initiative cannot save all refugees and migrants crossing the the Mediterranean Sea but with our presence and through the lives we do save, we are standing up for humanity."

(“About Us • Sea-Watch e.V.” n.d.)

“About Us • Sea-Watch e.V.” n.d. Sea-Watch e.V. Accessed September 1, 2023. .