Three drown along the Dutch coast

3rd September 2004, Comments 0 comments

3 September 2004 , AMSTERDAM — Three people have drowned in the last week as a combination of the spring tide and strong westerly winds has led to extremely dangerous conditions along the Dutch coast. Inexperienced swimmers are particularly at risk, the life boat service has warned.

3 September 2004

AMSTERDAM — Three people have drowned in the last week as a combination of the spring tide and strong westerly winds has led to extremely dangerous conditions along the Dutch coast. Inexperienced swimmers are particularly at risk, the life boat service has warned.

The Royal Dutch Rescue Association KNRM also said on Friday the treacherous conditions will continue for the next few days, newspaper De Telegraaf reported.

The gravitational pull of the full moon is leading to a large difference between ebb and flow, with a KNRM spokesman saying the high tide is higher and the low tide is lower. "Between these times, extra water is going backwards and forwards," he said.

A strong wind is driving more water to the coast, leading to huge waves and a powerful undercurrent. The huge waves can push swimmers underwater where the undercurrent will drag them out to see. This can be repeated several times.

"People who can't swim very well get in a panic and that significantly increases the chance of drowning," the spokesman said.

The rescue services are advising people who still wish to go swimming to be fully aware of the prevailing weather conditions.

Life guards raise yellow flags to warn swimmers of dangerous conditions, including the current problems caused by westerly winds. Warning notices are placed along dikes.

The emergency services were kept busy along the coat at the same time last year. A spokesman from Dutch Rescue Brigades summed the contributing factors up: "The season is approaching its end, the wind increases and the water is quite warm". 

A 75-year-old German drowned at Callantsoog on Saturday and the body of a 18-year-old German was recovered from the sea at Hoek van Holland on Wednesday. A 60-year-old drowned also at Hoek van Holland on Wednesday while trying to assist another swimmer.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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