Body of missing Vlietlanden boater found

no image
No image availableNL Times

After hours of searching on Friday, divers finally discovered the body of 32-year old Adrie Gooijer, who went missing after his motor boat capsized in the waters of De Vlietlanden recreational lake system near Leidschendam on Thursday. 

Divers from the Navy retrieved the man's body from 18 meters deep. It seems he was not able to swim to shore after the accident happened. He was out on the lake with his partner and another couple when the boat took on water and suddenly capsized. Only three of the four made it to the shore.

According to the Algemeen Dagblad, one of the people standing powerless on the beach could hear Gooijer say "I'm not going to make it", before seeing his head go under water. This was the last anyone saw of him. The paper says that someone still tried to go after the 32-year old but could no longer find anything.

Rescue services put in a rescue brigade and the coast guard to search for the missing man with a special rescue helicopter provided with thermal imaging camera, and spent hours searching 30 meter deep waters. Their search action was stalled due to the oncoming darkness on Thursday evening.

Search actions continued on Friday, with specialist sonar technology from the police. The search seemed futile at first as the water seemed too deep in places to catch anything on the radar. An advanced sonar boat from the Royal Navy had to be called in, which finally spotted Adrie Gooijer's body at 18 meters deep.

It is still a mystery how the boat was able to take on water and capsize. The other boaters were able to swim to shore after the accident, a swim of a couple dozen meters. How Adrie Gooijer could have drowned is puzzling to everyone. "I still saw him working on the boat yesterday. He was a very friendly neighbor, always wants to help. How is this possible?" a neighbor asks.

Police are going to investigate the incident, and try to answer these questions.