Lifeguards warn water still too cold for long swims despite rising temperatures
Although it may become tropically warm this weekend, the temperature of the water is still very low. The Dutch Reddingsbrigade advises against swimming for long stretches. “Bathing your feet and a short splash is no problem, but the water is still too cold to really go for a swim,” said a spokesperson for the organization, which represents 150 local water rescue branches including 2,750 lifeguards.
At the moment, the temperature of the seawater is about 13 degrees, and that of inland waters is not much warmer. That entails risks if you stay in the water for some time, according to the Reddingsbrigade. There is a risk of hypothermia or cramps. “If you go swimming and you get a cramp in the sea, it can prevent you from swimming and possibly even make you disappear underwater.”
The Reddingsbrigade, therefore, advises never to go into the water alone or to ask someone on the side to keep an eye on you. It is also important to keep an eye on the warning flags.
The Reddingsbrigade expects a busy few days ahead of it. “It is the first real beach weekend, so many people will go to the water,” said the spokesperson. “On such a first weekend, we always see more children who have lost their parents. And, of course, we still have our regular work.”
Due to the warm weather, the temperature of the seawater will slowly rise in the coming days. It is difficult to say at what temperature it becomes safer to remain in the water for longer. “It depends on your condition and your experience with swimming in cold water,” the spokesperson said.
Reporting by ANP