Five experienced surfers drowned in the Netherlands on Tuesday after surfing in stormy weather at a popular beach in Scheveningen, a suburb of The Hague. According to officials, the storm whipped up unusually thick sea foam in the North Sea from which the surfers could not escape.
The Dutch Coast Guard was called to the scene. Three people were pulled from the water but two drowned. Two more bodies washed up on the shore later that day. A fifth body was seen floating in the waters before drifting out of reach.
The excessively thick layer of sea foam drifted on the North Sea waters near the beaches, pushed near the shore by stormy winds. Officials said the conditions created “avalanche-like” sea foam along the coast. Surfers said the foam was so thick, it was especially difficult to get back on their boards to return to shore if they fell off.
The surfers, all between the ages of 22 and 38, were highly experienced, including two who were internationally trained lifeguards that had worked in Australia.
The Hague mayor told reporters,
“They were busy training. They then disappeared under the foam like it was some sort of avalanche.”