DLRGer view! Do you know the tower of the DLRG station on the Scharfe Lanke, this water sports paradise in Berlin-Spandau? Certainly. There was an open day there at the weekend. And because Christin Respondek just had time between the boat tour, the blue light and the bratwurst stand, the Spandau newsletter from the Tagesspiegel was given a quick tour of the house all the way to the top.

[The complete Spandau newsletter is now available from me with tips, dates, water sports news and district news once a week and free of charge: leute.tagesspiegel.de]

Christin Respondek is the boss of the Spandau DLRG (900 people, including 100 lifeguards on Havel and Glienicker See). You probably know the house from below. It was built in 1974. The tower was named after the then President of the DLRG, Siegfried John, and has a very distinctive shape.

“The Berlin architect Ludwig Leo designed the house at the end of the 1960s and built a ship on land for the Berlin water rescuers and their guests. The triangular shape of the building is intended to be reminiscent of the sail of a sailing boat and the antenna mast of a ship’s funnel,” writes the DLRG on its website. I found an obituary for architect Leo that is worth reading here: berlin.dlrg.de (PDF, 2012).

What I didn’t know: The house has a sloping lift for boats on the outside. Look at the white rails in both photos – you can even see a boat in the elevator in the top picture, here in higher resolution.

And here below I show you a photo from above out the window. Isn’t the view gorgeous? To the left it goes towards Havel and Marina Lanke, in front of us is the Scharfe Lanke.

[Already more than 260,000 subscriptions: Choose your district newsletter – now for free at leute.tagesspiegel.de]

The house used to be a stacked boat garage with 10 floors to store the boats dry in winter, the DLRG boss told me. Today’s lifeboats are too big for that.

Inside there are over 50 beds, kitchen, couch and galley, showers and conference rooms, workshops and the diving tower, into which many would have liked to jump in the heat. But it’s not a toy, it’s a training facility for rescue divers from all over the country.

P.S.: Luckily, new interested parties got in touch after the DLRG boss spoke plainly in the Tagesspiegel, didn’t fiddle around and asked for offensive help. Because the volunteer lifeguards have difficulties after two Corona years to sufficiently staff the rescue stations on the Havel. That was the topic recently, first here in Spandau, then in Reinickendorf – and now the “Spiegel” is also reporting that there are very similar needs for the beaches on the Baltic and North Seas. If you want to help, even with small donations: spandau.dlrg.de.

Water sports are often a big topic in the Spandau newsletter, after all Spandau is a real water sports district – with all its summer nuisances: speeders, garbage and annoying party boats. Here in the Tagesspiegel, Spandau’s city councilor talks about stress on the Havel, junk ships and jet skis from the water police. And Spandau’s transport councilor speaks about barriers and illegal parking at the bathing lake – and why a BVG bus line to Glienicker See fails.