SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Lifeguards are warning that swimmers are not properly aware of the risks and responsibilities they have when seeking to escape the heat in the sea or lakes and rivers.
Between July 2 and August 5, lifeguards were called out 3,259 times, around the normal amount for an entire summer season. ‘It is a hot summer and we are well aware of that,’ Koen Breedveld, director of the Dutch lifeguards, told the AD.
‘Two or three people are drowning every weekend, in the sea, in rivers, swimming pools and ponds. It is unnecessary.’ Swimmers, he said, need better information and the quality of supervision must also be improved.
In addition, more people need life-saving skills. The Socialist Party is calling for the reintroduction of compulsory school swimming and other efforts to boost swimming skills.
According to the AD, in 2016, 86 people drowned in the Netherlands, largely children with an ethnic minority background. (DutchNews)