Rowboat capsizes in Wageningen; search for rowers halted

A KNRM rescue boat (Picture: Twitter/@KNRM). (A KNRM rescue boat (Picture: Twitter/@KNRM))

Emergency services responded en masse to the marina at the Nederrijn in Wageningen on Sunday after two reports of a rowboat capsizing. Rescue workers searched for possibly missing rowers in the water for hours, but found nothing, De Gelderlander reports.

The reports came in at around 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, according to the local safety office. Witnesses reported seeing a competition boat, which can carry up to four rowers, capsize from a distance. The fire brigade and public works department Rijkswaterstaat deployed sonar boats and divers. The police searched the banks and deployed a helicopter to search from the air. 

The fire brigade divers halted their search around 7:30 p.m., because there was no chance that people could survive the icy waters for so long, according to the broadcaster. The other units stopped searching around 10:45 p.m. "At the moment there is no reason to continue with the search, all services are scaling down and heading home", a spokesperson said to De Gelderlander. Whether the search will be picked up again on Monday is not yet clear.

The safety office hasn't yet received any reports of missing persons. Student rowing club Argo reports that the boat does not belong to them. "We counted all boats and we're not missing one", a spokesperson said to the broadcaster. Water sports association VADA also has all boats accounted for.