Weekend full of incidents on beaches in The Hague: ‘Bathers died a big drama’

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THE HAGUE –
It was an exceptionally busy weekend on the beaches of The Hague. The municipality had to close access roads on Sunday to prevent the whole of Scheveningen from getting stuck. Deputy Mayor Hilbert Bredemeijer looks back with horror on a weekend in which two swimmers were also killed. ‘That is of course a big drama. Also for the next of kin. ‘

High temperatures and many Dutch people who are not on holiday or who have visited the coast in their own country. The beach was unusually busy. ‘There were twice as many guests as on a normal busy day when there was no corona,’ says Bredemeijer at Radio West. ‘We want The Hague to be a hospitable city, but last weekend was exceptional.’

Many people looked to cool off in the water. But the sea is extra dangerous because of the ripples. Two men got into trouble on Sunday and could not be taken out of the water in time. “It is of course a great drama that two people die,” the deputy mayor sympathizes with the victims. “It’s terrible, especially for the next of kin.”

NL-Alert

The rescue brigade had raised the red flag and later that day an NL-Alert was also sent on Sunday that people should not go into the sea. But many people did not adhere to this. ‘It turns out that despite the danger at sea, it is difficult to listen to the professionals. The rescue brigade has done a very good job, but they have to be listened to. If they raise the red flag, stick to that. It is bad that an NL-Alert is needed later on because this does not happen, ‘says Bredemeijer.

The influx of beachgoers caused a lot of inconvenience. Especially in Scheveningen, residents complained on Saturday about the many cars in the village. ‘All week we insisted that people should not come by car. It was indicated on the signs from both Amsterdam and Utrecht. But it seems as if people just type in Scheveningen on the navigation and keep driving until they see the sea. ‘

‘Then you’re not quite right’

According to Bredemeijer, this was a reason for the municipality to adjust it differently on Sunday. ‘We saw a big difference between the two days. The way it went on Saturday was simply not possible. The residents complained about the nuisance and you don’t want that. So we closed several streets on Sunday. Many people could not enter because of this, but the people who were there had a beautiful beach day. And the residents could live in their village normally again. ‘

The closure of the roads was not handled well by everyone. There were some incidents with traffic wardens. One was even hit on the head with a life preserver. Then you are not quite good of course ‘, the deputy mayor is still indignant. ‘Those people work at more than 35 degrees and deserve a big compliment. It just shows how overheated society is and this is of course unacceptable. ‘

Wildkampeerders

Some beachgoers had come up with a different way to avoid the crowds towards the beaches. They stayed camping on the beach with tents. ‘It happens every year that people stay overnight on the beach, but we have never experienced anything like this year,’ says Bredemeijer. ‘There were now complete tent camps. We were also shocked by that. We have already started warning people during the day that staying overnight on the beach is not allowed and we have also sent people home in the evening. But in the morning there were still people asleep and we had to use boas, police and forest rangers to talk to everyone and fine where necessary to make sure they go home. ‘

READ ALSO: Hottest August 8 ever measured: traffic jams to the coast and crowds on the beaches

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