Life brigade had busy summer saving inexperienced swimmers

Photo: Elly Waterman via Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Elly Waterman via Wikimedia Commons

Lifeboat crews saved a record number of people from drowning this summer, the Dutch life brigade’s annual figures show.

Some 306 people were pulled from the water last year after getting into life-threatening situations, more than triple the 2019 total.  Around 1,100 additional people were helped because they experienced potentially serious problems.

More people were trapped by rip tides this summer, Reddingsbrigade officials said, and many of those who needed to be rescued were inexperienced swimmers as well.

‘The explosive increase in the number of rescues is very worrying,’ life brigade director Koen Breedveld said. ‘Lots of people went to the beach this summer, and many have little experience swimming in the sea, which is getting them into trouble.’

The Reddingsbrigade, which has some 155 stations across the country, is starting an information campaign to promote safe sea bathing for adults and children, with leaflets in several languages.  

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