Multiple people fall into water after rescue services warn against thin ice
Dutch rescue workers warn ice skating lovers not to head out too soon on open waters. The quality of the ice there has not been investigated by experts. In the past couple of days, multiple people have fallen into freezing waters because the ice was not thick enough.
Due to coronavirus restrictions, no tours have been organized to test for weak spots or holes in the ice. “This increases the risk of ending up in the freezing water”, the rescue brigade said to RTL Nieuws. The organization advises instead to visit a local natural ice-skating rink or try out a covered pasture area or a shallow ditch.
Police told over 400 people to clear the ice in Zeedijk over concerns that the water surface may cave in due to the large crowds and warm sunshine.
In Bergen op Zoom two people had to be rescued after falling through a hole in the Gaffel. One of them was brought to hospital with a fracture in his arm, the ANP reports.
In Gooi and Verstreek, authorities also warned that it was too busy on the ice. There, two people had to be fished out of the frosty waters; one of them was saved by the fire brigade and the other by a bystander. Other areas in Noord-Holland and Overijssel also attracted many hobby ice-skaters, raising safety concerns amongst rescue workers.
If you do decide to go skating on open waters, make sure you are well prepared. Let someone know where you are going and take a piece of rope with you in case you need to help others. It is also a good idea to take a whistle with you so that you can alert others if you need help.