Body washed ashore on Terschelling identified after 52 years

The body of a man that washed ashore on Terschelling at the end of 1967 was identified as sailor Kees van Rijn from Katwijk after 52 years. His relatives donated DNA after hearing about the identification of Andries Penning, another body that washed ashore on the island years ago.

Kees van Rijn was a 22-year-old crew member of the cutter KW 37 Orion when it sank in a severe storm on the North Sea, near Terschelling, in October 1967. Of the six crew members who went down with the cutter, only skipper Jan Nijgh has not yet been found.

"To identify unknown deceased, we really need referents," said Izanne de Wit, team leader o the National Police's Missing Persons Office. "I hope relatives donate DNA if they miss someone in their family." The best chance of identification is with the DNA of direct relatives like parents, children and siblings.