A 14-year old German girl is likely to have drowned on Saturday evening
Translated by Thomas Ansell
Former KNRM-Coordinator Jan Verbiest has made the comments after a search for the 14-year old seems to have been unsuccessful. The girl seems to have gotten into trouble in the sea above the Frisian island of Ameland during a family trip on Saturday evening. As reported by the Omrop Fryslân.
Due to the strong currents in the North Sea, people can get into trouble even if they are only submerged to their waists, says Verbiest. The danger of the sea is linked to the weather, says Verbiest: “there is always some danger, but each day is different. It is completely dependent on the weather conditions.
Verbiest goes on to say: “on Saturday, when this horrifying accident occurred, there was a lot of strong wind, and heavy swelling. If you have that with a coastward wind, then you get an undercurrent that sucks back to the sea with every wave. One day it’s undetectable, the next it can be really very strong.” A number of swimmers reported this strong undercurrent on Saturday.
When experiencing this phenomenon its important not to swim against the current, says Verbiest. “If you are carried by the current to a ‘mui’, a space between two sand-banks, and then are headed toward the sea then you mustn’t struggle. Once you’re out of the current, you can then curve back toward the beach. Lot’s of people begin to swim against the current, but you won’t beat it.”
The search for the 14-year old victim is still ongoing. The girl came into trouble on Saturday evening as she watched the sunset with her younger sister and father. Since then a mass search has gone on, with fourteen shrimp fishing boats now checking around the coast.