1956 renamed to RESERVE HOLTENAU
1965 renamed to FEHMARNBELT

- active lightship from 1908 until 1984 -

 Position: 54° 36' North - 11° 09' East

Technical data

Length overall: 45.44 m
Length: 43.30 m
Beam: 7.14 m
Draught: 3.70 m
Side hight: 4.70 m
Displacement: approx. 343 BRT
Mast: four-leg-mast

Character: Fl W 4s

Beacon: 4-fielded-rotary-lens
Illuminate: 1000 W /110 V
Suspension: cardanic
Range: 22 sm
Elevation: 12 m
Focal distance: 250 mm

Anchor: 3 patent anchor, 2 of these were station anchors, the third one a drive anchor

Shipyard: G.H. Thyen Werft Brake/Unterweser, Germany

Year of construction: 1908
Yard-No.: S 21
Costs: 300.000,- German Reichsmark

Engine: 6 cylinder diesel engine

Make: Kloeckner-Humboldt-Deutz

Make-No. 239 191/96

Type: S.V.M.S. 150, No. 679 158

Power: 300 HP/ 275 U/min

Speed: 8,6 knots

Crew: 2 x 11 men, changing every second week on Tuesday



the present-day lightship FEHMARNBELT was built as a three masted schooner with a set of emergency-sails at the G.H. Thyen-Shipyard in Brake/Germany

1914-1916 during WWI positioned on SUEDERPIEP station
1918 participation in the "Dagoe-Oesel-Operation"
1926 fitted with wireless radio
1929 engine lifeboat obtained, so that the crew became more flexible

installation of a 6 cylinder Kloeckner-Humboldt-Deutz main engine with 300 HP/275 U, speed 8,6 knots

1944 AUSSENEIDER station abandoned
1948 stationed at P11 and P15 station in the German Bight. After the repairs of the war damages, lightship AUSSENEIDER came back as reserve lightship for the AMRUMBANK station
1954 final takeover of the lightship by the authority "WSA Kiel", who are responsible for the Baltic Sea area and installation of a more modern radio and a new radio beacon

complete modernization: the lightship lost its fore and main-masts and got its extraordinary looking four leg mast. The light got a four-fielded rotary lens with a focal distance of 250 mm and 1000 W 110 V. A bridge house was built and from the former crew area the shipyard created double cabins. After that the lightship was renamed to RESERVE HOLTENAU and served the FLENSBURG, KIEL and FEHMARNBELT stations

1959 installation of a radar- and air fog signal
1960 electrification of the anchor installation
1961 the former North Sea lightship was again used for the ELBE 1 RES station for a short time
the lightship served as reserve lightship on the KIEL station

in 1962, the first lightship FEHMARNBELT was rammed and damaged heavily by the Polish freighter "Polanicza". 2 crewmembers of the lightship lost their lives. It was decided to repair the ship. The old ship got the name RESERVE KIEL and was scrapped in Bremerhaven in 1968.

From 1965 the previous lightship RESERVE HOLTENAU was renamed FEHMARNBELT and positioned on FEHMARNBELT station


the call signal "DBBD" which still exists today was awarded the lightship


installation of a third support diesel engine because of the constantly growing number of electricity consuming equipment on the lightship

1973 change of the wooden lifeboats to those made from GFK
1980 The crew set up as follows: 1 captain, 1 chief-engineer, 2 radio-operators (until 1980), 1 boatswain, 2 engine operators, 5 sailors as well as 1 cook. The crew was changing every second week on Tuesdays.

after 76 years on duty the lightship was decommissioned today and replaced by an unmanned automatically working buoy


Now an exciting time started for the lightship, because it was brought to the island of Sylt to produce the film "The Lightship" with Klaus Maria Brandauer. For the interior shots, the interior equipment was removed and brought to the film studios in Munich - a lightship in individual parts.

During this time the association "Feuerschiff fuer Luebeck e.V" was founded in Luebeck. The basic idea of this association was and is the conservation of the lightship. The symbolic purchase price would have amounted to 150.000, - German Marks. So the ship was rebuilt according to original records and can now be viewed in Luebeck at the music and congress hall.


After 20 years, the former lightship "FEHMARNBELT" got back its old radio beacon mast in spring 2004. During decommissioning in April 1984, the lightship lost its mast since it would not have fitted with the film works, that took place that year. After the ship visited the city of Kiel in summer 2003, they were asked if there is still interest in a return of the mast. After quick agreement of the necessary details, a truck took the mast back to the city of Luebeck some days later. There it was stored at first and was installed in the old place this spring. Many members of the non-profit association, but also the innumerable marine aid friends are pleased about the new/old look of the lightship. The association "Feuerschiff fuer Luebeck" e.V." would like once more to thank all people involved for their kind help.

(Press note August 2004 lightship FEHMARNBELT C. Ruediger)


From September 5th until September 17th, 2005 the lightship visited the Gebrueder-Friedrich-Wharf in Kiel for overhaul. We were allowed to stay with the crew for this 12 days and would like to say "thank you" again for this wonderful time.

June 19th to 22nd, 2008
This June a very special meeting took place, which was a first in maritime circles: The Meeting of the German Museum Lightships FEHMARNBELT, ELBE 1 and ELBE 3 from 19th to 22nd June 2008 at the Ueberseebruecke in Hamburg. We accompanied the lightship with the longest journey to the meeting and back - the lightship FEHMARNBELT from Luebeck. With a car the journey from Luebeck to Hamburg takes an hour - on the water the ship took three one day stages in each direction, plus three days in moored in Hamburg meant FEHMARNBELT was away from home for nine days. From a total of 3,500 pictures a picture story emerged, that can be found here.
June 3rd, 2009

What is that? Some visitors of the lightship will ask. Below the lantern the lightship sport further lights, which are not meant for illumination the deck, but are fog-spotlights. In bad visibility you switch on those lights and illuminate the fog all around the lightship so it is seen better.

August 22nd, 2009

For the occasion of the 25th birthday of the lightship assiciation "Feuerschiff für Lübeck e.V." this special cancellation with the lantern of the lightship will be issued on the 22nd of August 2009.


Summer timetable:

In the summer from May to September, the lightship leaves her berth in Luebeck and visits the most different events along the Baltic coast. The summer timetable can be found here (in German language).

Winter season :
During the winter season from November until May the lightship is open to the public every second Sunday of the month from 11 am until 2 pm. Entry is free and you are welcome to enjoy some food and beverages while visiting the ship.

The lightship can be viewed by groups or individuals. Groups please register under the telephone number 0451 - 7 60 68 (answering machine) previously. Individuals can visit every Wednesdays from 5 pm.

Entrance fees:

€ 1,50 adults
€ 1,00 children (under 12 years)

Visitor address:
Feuerschiff fuer Luebeck e.V.
Media Docks, Willy-Brandt-Allee, 23554

For further information (in German):