Ten years after the 2013 Lampedusa shipwreck killed an estimated 360 migrants, state-led search and rescue operations are persistently absent in the Mediterranean — despite the continuously high number of distress cases of persons attempting to cross in unseaworthy boats. In response, over the past 10 years, various non-profit actors have set up civil search and rescue operations. However, their operability and effectiveness fluctuate to a considerable degree depending on state actions. This is because European governments have been restricting and hampering civil search and rescue activities in various ways over the past years. In light of this, the present study examines the options for the German government to support civil search and rescue operations at the national and European level.