German entrepreneur and philanthropist Jürgen Wagentrotz has decided to donate more than €180,000 to search and rescue charity Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS).

Mr Wagentrotz will be donating €180,000 of his own personal wealth while his company Oil and Gas Invest AG will also be making a big donation in fuel to help partly fund the mission for six months this year.MOAS is an NGO which rescued some 3,000 migrants from the Mediterranean Sea during a 60-day mission last year, using a 40-metre rescue boat called M.Y. Phoenix.The project was set up in 2014 by Italo-American entrepreneur couple Christopher and Regina Catrambone who launched an appeal late last year to seek more funding to expand the operations.

Mr Wagentrotz, a successful businessman and philanthropist, is the first entrepreneur to respond to the appeal.

MOAS director Brig. Ret’d. Martin Xuereb thanked Mr Wagentrotz for his important contribution: “Mr Wagentrotz will not only be giving MOAS substantial and much-needed financial support. He will also be lending invaluable knowledge, expertise, contacts and experience. Most importantly, he is setting an example to other private citizens and businesses who should also get involved to help stop more tragedies in the Mediterranean.”

A former East German who left his homeland and parents at a young age, Mr Wagentrotz knows what it is like to be a refugee and feels a personal connection to the hundreds of thousands refugees risking their lives to reach Europe.

Mr Wagentrotz, a Christian, said he took inspiration from the German author Siegfried Lenz who once wrote: “Those who do not act are by no means free of guilt. One does not keep one’s purity by not taking sides.”

“I am sure that it pains God to see his children drowning and dying at sea. I’m very proud and grateful to be able to support MOAS and help save lives. I am sure this pleases God,” said Mr Wagentrotz.

OGI AG will be donating to the organisations’ substantial fuel needs, one of the largest costs involved in the search and rescue operations.

MOAS hopes to set sail again between May and October this year and is currently in discussion with other organisations and companies to ensure long-term sustainability.

MOAS has raised more than €80,000 through its crowdfunding initiative (, half of which has been received from German citizens.

Donations can be made on