Birgit Fischer is an eight times Olympic canoe champion and the most successful German Olympian. This week she added another title to her long list of achievements by being awarded the title of "Marine Ambassador 2006” at the show.
Favorite element: water
The German Lifeboat Association (DGzRS) elected Birgit this year at the boot show. "I've had lots of different offers, but decided to take this one as it centres on my favourite element, water.” Birgit explained. Few people know that she too has found herself in need of the emergency services at sea. "That was in Australia and I can only say that that was a life and death experience!” That is why the DGzRS is close to her heart.
Raising the profile
"I realise that this is a difficult job,” she says. "You simply do not think about these sort of things unless you are touched by them. We do all however care about our lives.” The DGzRS is a charity that does not have state support. Birgit Fischer wants to draw attention to the charity and help raise its profile, "where it counts.”
The figures speak for themselves. 774 people have been rescued at sea last year with 1733 call outs to incidents in the Baltic and North Seas. Amongst those rescued are professional mariners, tourists, and above all amateur sailors. Fischer is advertising the charity on posters. She heaps praise on the brave young people of the organisation, "These lads are great people, but only as good as the equipment at their disposal on board.”