Half fewer children go missing at the coast

Far fewer children went missing at Flemish coastal resorts during July this year than was the case during July 2018. According to figures from the West Flanders Inter-Municipal Coastal Rescue Service (IKWV) there were 50% fewer reports of children having gone missing while at the seaside in July 2019 than was the case during the same period a year ago, when 1,100 children got lost.

But what is the reason for the fall in the number of children getting lost on or around the region’s beaches? IKWV’s Ann Beun told Radio 2 West Flanders that the answer is simple.

“This July there were half a million fewer day trippers at the coast and this was due to the weather. There were a number of busy days such as the warmest day of the year (Thursday 25 July), but on other days it was relatively quiet”.

Fewer day-trippers means fewer children that can potentially get lost. The highest number of children were reported missing on 24 and 25 July, which were exceptionally busy days at the coast.

Then around 50 children went missing in Ostend and Blankenberge. In most cases missing children are quickly reunited with their parents or guardians. On the two warmest days of the year (24 and 25 July) dozens of people needed hospital treatment after having become ill due to the heat.