From kapok to plastic laminate

SECUMAR world’s first lifejacket museum.

That was some birthday party! And the 50 year old company celebrated by opening the world’s first lifejacket museum with more that 100 exhibits from at home and abroad offering a glimpse at the history of life saving equipment.

We are pleased that around 250 friends and colleagues could come to the grand opening and have the chance to be impressed by the history of life saving equipment as can anyone during normal working hours upon request.

It all begins with outfitting the German Rescue Service (DGzRS) in the 1920s and developed further by the knowledge gained from the sinking of the Bismarck in 1941 with the loss of a large part of the crew. Military lifejackets past and present from several different nations are on show as well as specialist models for Fire Brigades, Sea Rescue Organisations and aviation as well as different commercial and leisure lifejackets from times past, all displayed with explanatory notes.

Museum historia secumaris

Lifejacket Museum “historia secumaris”


Two historic films with titles “Not everyone can walk on water” and “Risking your neck” allow visitors to ‘get up close’ to the subject with moving pictures, professionally narrated by theatre star Werner Riepel. Alongside this the visitor will find a veritable cornucopia of curiosities – not necessarily directly connected to safety – such as an inflatable swimming cap.

The root of the exhibition is based on Jost Bernhardt’s ground breaking work in the 1950s experimenting with and comparing lifejackets in the Hamburg Baths. This intensive work on the theme of the body in water led to the eventual publishing of his definitive thesis “The man in the aqueus element” which has become the standard work that drives the development and construction of sea rescue equipment today.