Teen boy missing off Zuid-Holland coast; Two friends rescued

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

A teenaged swimmer was still missing Saturday morning nearly 12 hours after an emergency services call to report he and his friends were in trouble off the Dutch coast. The boy was swimming with two others near the Zandmotor beach in Monster, Zuid-Holland, when the strong North Sea current pulled them south towards Hoek van Holland.

The three swimmers, aged 15 to 18, were reported as missing at about 7 p.m. on Friday, and two of them were rescued, local authorities said. One of the two had swallowed too much water and was transported to an area hospital. 

By 7:40 p.m., a massive response was underway including personnel from the KNRM rescue service, police, paramedics, and a medical trauma team. But ten minutes later, the boy had disappeared underwater, the regional security office said.

Dozens of volunteers linked arms to form a human chain, while the rescue workers searched the shore and the sea. The search was called off around 10:45 p.m. because of darkness, but workers still planned to search vehicles and vessels overnight.

The search and rescue mission was set to restart again Saturday morning. Workers gathered starting at about 5 a.m., according to NOS Radio. They hoped their odds of finding the boy would improve  at low tide around 9 a.m. 

Warnings had been issued throughout Friday for possible rip currents along the coast. Rescue services were busy throughout the day assisting people even though swimmers were advised to stay close to shore