The fight broke out at a beach bar on the west side of Blankenberge. An intern from the involved beach bar saw it all happen. “There was a group of French-speaking young people who had been doing annoying all day,” says one Vinnie.
“They sat on our private stretch of beach off our bar all the time. They also had very loud music with them. We asked them several times for that one boombox quieter. But over and over again, they turned the volume knob to challenge us. When I threatened to take their music system, they started to challenge us. Not much later the group received support from other French-speaking young people and then things got out of hand. ” Real chaos broke out. “It looked like a war zone, we have never experienced that.”
Strandangers speak of ‘sick riots’ on social media.
Police forces from far and wide
“Sun umbrellas and beach beds flew around, wind sail sticks were used as weapons,” says a manageress of a nearby bar on the beach. Hundreds of people followed the sad spectacle on the dike. According to intern Vinnie, there had been ‘an aggressive atmosphere’ on the beach all day long. “There were just too many people. Something has to be done ”, it still sounds.
The police arrived en masse: teams from De Haan / Bredene and Bruges sent reinforcements and the shipping police also arrived on the scene. Pepper spray and batons were used to calm the crowd. Even the lifeguards, who protected themselves with trays from a beach bar, got caught up in the skirmishes. The police arrested a number of people.
“I think this is terrible,” said Mayor Daphné Dumery (N-VA) with a lump in the throat. “We have been busy all day to keep the masses on the right track, but now my heart is sinking. This is very bad for people who mean well and want to enjoy a day in Blankenberge. I am thinking of children and their parents. ” The visibly distressed mayor will sit with her security cell tonight at 7 p.m. to discuss the approach of tomorrow and the coming days. Most likely, drastic measures will follow.