Water rescue calls tripled during heat wave

Dutch water rescue organization KNRM
Dutch water rescue organization KNRMPhoto: Friedemeier/DepositPhotos

The heat wave in the Netherlands last week resulted in a sharp increase in the number of calls to Dutch water rescue society KNRM. Volunteers were deployed on 160 calls for rescue operations or assistance last week, more than triple what is usual, KNRM spokesperson Kees Brinkman said to NOS.

"Some of the reports were caused by the bad weather during the night from Thursday to Friday. Many ships ran into problems as a result", Brinkman said. "Normally we respond about 50 times in a week."

The requests for help came from all over the Netherlands. The KNRM responded to reports of ships in trouble, missing swimmers and drownings. Lifeguards on the Wadden islands particularly had their hands full, according to the broadcaster. 

Last week the KNRM launched a major rescue operation when three swimmers got into trouble off the coast of The Hague. Two men from Poland and one from Germany drowned. The KNRM got them out of the water, but attempts to resuscitate them were to no avail. On Friday another swimmer drowned in the Waal in Nijmegen.