Two surfers killed, three missing in Scheveningen

A KNRM rescue ship in a search mission for six surfers in trouble near Scheveningen. May 11, 2020
A KNRM rescue ship in a search mission for six surfers in trouble near Scheveningen. May 11, 2020Kustwacht Nederland / Dutch Coast GuardTwitter

Update, 11 p.m., 11 May 2020: The search mission was called off for the night by 10:40 p.m. Rescue personnel were coordinating to begin searching again on Tuesday morning, the Coast Guard said.

A massive search and rescue mission was underway Monday evening after a group of six surfers were reported in trouble near the Scheveningen Beach in The Hague. Rescue service KNRM found three of them, and brought them out of the water, two of whom later died, according to the fire department.

An attempt to revive them failed, with witnesses saying they saw two ambulances racing away from the beach. The third person was conscious and speaking with authorities who said six people in total were in trouble, the Coast Guard said.

Three others were still believed to be missing as of 9:15 p.m., two hours after the surfers got into trouble. The "major rescue operation" was "complicated by the strong wind and rough sea," the regional emergency services office. "This is complicated by the strong winds and rough seas."

"Personnel are still searching from the air, on the water and on land," the Dutch military branch said in a statement. The response was centered around the Noordelijk Havenhoofd near the stadium on the beach.

People were being strongly advised not to enter the water near the beach. "There are still water sports enthusiasts active in and around our search area. We are calling on them to leave this area as soon as possible," the emergency office said.

The rescue operation involved a Coast Guard helicopter, two trauma teams in air ambulances, multiple rescue boats from the KNRM, at least a half-dozen ambulances, and scores of police and fire department personnel.