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Affluence drives rising number of coastal emergencies


Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

IJMUIDEN The main Dutch coastal search and rescue service KNMR went out on over 2,000 emergency missions last year, involving over 3,300 people in distress. In about 70 percent of the cases, the SOS signals concerned water sportsmen who were caught in dangerous situations. KNMR attributes the trend to affluence in Dutch society, which increasingly takes up water sports off the Dutch coast. Also observed is the trend toward larger, less easily maneuverable freighters. Water sportsmen frequently get into shipping lanes, causing problems for the large ships, reports the KNMR. The service suggests that the number of emergencies can be reduced when everyone at sea looks out for one another. Cause for alarm too is the number of engine failures, which can lead to dangerous situations in the busy shipping lanes, warns KNMR.