Body found identified as surfer missing in tragedy that left five dead

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

A body found in Scheveningen on Thursday was confirmed as being the remains of a surfer who was caught with several others in turbulent waters last month. The 23-year-old, Matthijs, was one of five water sports enthusiasts who perished off the coast there on May 11.

"Around 10:40 am, two walkers saw a body between the boulders at the Noordelijk Havenhoofd. They immediately alerted the emergency services, who subsequently recovered the body," police said in a statement.

The Delft man was part of a group of surfers and swimmers who ventured into the North Sea that day. They were reported in trouble at about 6:54 p.m. on a day when the currents were particularly strong, the winds were gusty, and a heavy amount of sea foam developed near the coastline.

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 victim

Seven people were rescued from the water that evening. Two men from The Hague succumbed to their injuries after attempts were made to revive them. They were 30 and 38 years of age. A 40-year-old man also had to be hospitalized.

One day later two more bodies were recovered by emergency crews, later identified as a 24-year-old man from The Hague and a 22-year-old man from Delft. Matthijs' body was spotted, but could not be safely recovered.

Rescue workers made repeated attempts in the days and weeks that followed to find his body, also making use of drones.

 

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