Dr. Klaus Wilkens was elected President of the DLRG (German Lifesaving Federation) for a third term with an overwhelming majority at the association’s General Assembly held in Weimar. The delegates of the world’s largest lifesaving organisation cast their votes based on continuity.
Only two things changed in the Board compared to the past term of office: The outgoing Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Ute Vogt, has become new Vice President of the DLRG, and Hans-Hermann HÃƒÂ¶ltje takes over the office of Deputy Director of Rescue Service from Rainer Engelbracht.
“The Presiding Board did very good work in the past years and has already formulated clear objectives and tasks for the next four years. Our priorities are maintaining the level of swimming pool density in Germany, improving the swimming capabilities predominantly of young people and increasing safety at beaches and bathing and water sports locations, said the old and new President of the DLRG when asked about the tasks ahead.
The “disastrous trend in Germany to close more and more swimming pools is viewed with great concern by the DLRG. The Federal Conference adopted a resolution aimed at keeping public swimming pools open. The resolution says: Politics must be held co-responsible when there is evidence of a deterioration in swimming capabilities already today, when the training courses of the organisations providing swimming instruction are drastically declining and when swimming lessons no longer take place at many schools.
The General Assembly calls upon municipalities and private operators of beaches and bathing and water sports locations to do justice to their duty to maintain safety and to take the necessary measures for the safety of users. The prerequisite for maintaining water safety will be a resolute risk assessment of the respective location, according to the DLRG.
The actual need for safety measures will result from such analysis. The DLRG is able to perform the risk assessments with the help of trained experts. This effort by the humanitarian association is aimed at increasing water safety, predominantly at the inland waters, which have the highest drowning rates in Germany.