North Sea swimming banned as red slick progresses
Visitors to beaches between Scheveningen and Wassenaar were not allowed into the ocean on Sunday due to a red substance floating on the water. The Coast Guard hoisted the yellow flag in the area and the police ordered people out of the water after the reddish-brown slimy slurry was discovered. The police are calling it a "pest algae", NOS reports. At one point the Royal Dutch Rescue Institution lifted the swimming ban, but it was put back into
force a short time later. Visitors will not be allowed into the water until it has been determined exactly what the substance is. The Rijkswaterstaat worked through Sunday night to investigate the red glow. The results are expected during the course of Monday morning. "Let's just say that it is temporarily unwise to go into the water", a spokesperson for the police said to the broadcaster on Sunday. The police expect that the wind will move the gunk north. The police are calling the red substance a "pest algae". The Coast Guard believes it to be dead algae. "It stinks and it can make you a bit sick. But it's not really dangerous. This happens at least once every summer. It now happened a little later because it has not been so hot", a spokesperson said to the Telegraaf. Algae that appear in large amounts and cause odor and foam are called pest algae. According to the Rijkswaterstaat, there are six species that occur in the Dutch coastal areas, and some of them may contain toxic substances.