Eight people have drowned while swimming in Dutch lakes, rivers and in the North Sea so far this summer, the same number as die in an average season.
The Dutch lifeguard association says it is concerned that the total number of drownings this summer will be well above average. Five of those who died could not swim well.
‘The number of children passing their swimming certificates is going down,’ director Raymond van Mourik told broadcaster NOS. ‘This year’s dead include several children – reason enough for us to call for compulsory swimming lessons at school to be reintroduced.’
Six of those who died were swimming in places not designated as official swimming areas, so it took longer for help to arrive.
So far this year lifeguards have rescued 123 people from what could have been life-threatening situations.
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