Flowers pile up at Scheveningen surf shop as Defense joins search for 5th drowning victim
The Ministry of Defense joined the emergency services in their search for the body of a 23-year-old man from Delft in the North Sea near Scheveningen. The Delft man is one of five water sports enthusiasts who drowned in the sea near The Hague on Monday. The other four victims' bodies have already been recovered.
Rescue workers did spot the man's remains on Tuesday, but could not recover the body. Defense is now helping with technical equipment to search under water, RTL Nieuws reports.
According to The Hague mayor Johan Remkes, this accident caused "unimaginable grief in Scheveningen". A small mountain of flowers is forming at Scheveningen surf shop The Shore as people come to show their condolences. Flags are hanging at half mast near the quiet Scheveningen beach, according to the broadcaster.
"People here know better than anyone that the sea gives and the sea takes. But the way in which so many young lives were broken and so many families and groups of friends have been affected is unprecedentedly cruel," Remkes said.
Relatives, friends and the surf community gather on The Hague Beach to mourn the loss of five surfers who drowned at sea a day prior #Scheveningen #Nederland #Netherlands #KingdomNL @GettyImages https://t.co/BfgwNamxAS pic.twitter.com/gy4CPGRyv6— Pierre Crom (@PierreCrom) May 12, 2020
A group of swimmers and surfers went into the water on Monday evening and got into trouble at around 6:54 p.m. A total of seven people were taken out of the North Sea that evening. Two men from The Hague succumbed, despite emergency workers' attempts to resuscitate them. They were 30 and 38 years old. A 40-year-old man had to be hospitalized, but is now back at home, the police said.
On Tuesday, the bodies of a 24-year-old man from The Hague and a 22-year-old man from Delft were recovered.
The current suspicion is that the water sporters were caught off guard by a massive amount of foam on the sea. The foam also complicated the rescue workers' search for the victims. The Dutch institute for sea research NIOZ is investigating the foam, researcher Katja Philippart said to NOS.
"We have never experienced this before, so we want to rule everything out," she said, adding that they have already taken samples. "First of all, we want to establish that this is indeed the foam algae that we think it is. In addition, we're looking at the circumstances in which so much foam can form. If we find something that is abnormal, we may be able to issue a warning to water sports enthusiasts from now on."
Werkomstandigheden hulpdiensten dinsdagochtend strand Scheveningen pic.twitter.com/7F2glPuL3l— Dick Teske (@DTpersfoto) May 12, 2020