Monday evening, 10 p.m. I get instant cold chills. I'm trying to make sense of the dramatic message Thomas shared with me. How TF can these experienced locals haven gotten in trouble, all six of them, it just doesn't make any sense.
I read the press release, in full disbelief. How could these hardcore local surfers have gotten into trouble? Around 7 p.m., rescue workers pulled three of them from the water. One survived, but the two others could not be resuscitated. Two more bodies were recovered on Tuesday morning. The body of the fifth victim was seen in the sea but could not be retrieved. The rescue efforts were complicated by strong winds and a rough sea, the Dutch Coast Guard said on Twitter. The wind changed in direction and up to three feet of foam formed a tick layer on top of the waves.
These surfers sure didn't lack the skills to be out there, two of them worked as surf instructor and lifeguard, both in Holland and abroad. As a matter of fact, they were out there training with flippers (to stay fit and save lives). They were well known in the Dutch Surf Community and if anything could have gotten them into trouble it's that thick layer of foam. This time of the year, it's not unusual to see this kind of foam, but never to this degree, so that will, no doubt, require further investigation.
The Dutch Surf Community mourned the five deceased surfers by laying wreaths of flowers at the seaside, and by sharing the five herrings on a dark background — a reference to the Scheveningen city’s flag, which has three fish.
Many of the Netherlands’ beaches are closed by coronavirus restrictions, but surfing has been allowed as long as surfers maintain 5 feet of distance from each other. Scheveningen is known to have the country’s best surfing.
Big respect to the Dutch Coast Guard and above all our deepest condolences to the family, friends and the entire Dutch surfing community.
"Super nice and humble guys. I used to work with them." Remi Petersen
"I'll share details when the Scheveningen surf community announces the memorial paddle-out that will likely take place. Not quite sure how that'll work in a partial lockdown. For now, there's not much else to say. Give your loved ones a big hug tonight and take care." Gianni Verschueren