Rescue Brigade Netherlands had one of the busiest days ever on Sunday: 37 people had to be rescued from the sea. Due to the enormous mass of people in the water it was difficult to keep an overview. Rescuers were also barely able to reach the beach with vehicles.
For example, the beach entrances were often blocked by bicycles and scooters. It was also so busy on the beaches that rescue workers could barely get through the people. According to a spokesperson, the security region must enforce this more strictly.
The 37 swimmers and bathers were in a life-threatening situation on Sunday. Four of them have died. They died in Wijk aan Zee, Zandvoort and The Hague.
A total of 45 life-saving actions were carried out on Sunday. Besides the swimmers, three surfers and two people had to be helped on a vessel. First aid also had to be given to people on the beach three times.
In total 460 times in action
Rescue brigade Netherlands had to take action a total of 460 times along the Dutch coast. That is one time less than on the busiest day ever. That record dates from July 25, 2019.
Relief efforts also include finding missing children and treating minor injuries or people who become unwell due to the heat. Multiple people can be involved in an operation. For example, the rescue brigade in The Hague had to provide assistance more than 72 times on Sunday, involving more than 260 people.
Red flag hoisted along the North Sea coast
It was very dangerous in the sea on Sunday because of the strong current and offshore east wind. The red flag was therefore raised along the entire coast of South Holland (Noordwijk, Katwijk aan Zee, Scheveningen and Hoek van Holland). This means that swimming is strongly discouraged and you can only enter the sea water up to your knees. The flag was also hoisted on the North Holland coastline. It concerned the area between Zandvoort and Callantsoog.
It is very exceptional that the red flag is hoisted in such a large area. The flag is occasionally hoisted for a specific stretch of beach due to muzzles.
Monday it will be tropically warm again and Rescue Brigade Netherlands warns again for offshore wind and strong currents. Beachgoers are urged to keep a close eye on the flags.