“People go swimming in unguarded areas and fatalities are the result”

Two swimmers died in waters off the Flemish coast between the seaside resorts of Blankenberge and Zeebrugge yesterday.  The bodies of the two Polish men were recovered from an unguarded beach where swimming was not permitted and no lifeguard services were present.

The body of a first victim was washed up on the beach.  The body of the second was found in the sea.  Efforts were made to reanimate both swimmers but to no avail.

Police chief Jan Maertens: “Just before 5PM we were informed a body had washed up on the shore.  We attended the scene with other emergency services and a second man was then fished out of the sea”.

The two men are Poles aged 30 to 40 and are believed to be truck drivers.  They were at the seaside with several acquaintances, who have identified them.  The police have not yet established exactly what happened.  The bodies were recovered from an unguarded area, but police chief Maertens says it’s not yet clear where they entered the water.

Rescue services point to the strong wind on the coast yesterday. “It was a very dangerous day at the beach” said Blankenberge chief lifeguard Tom Cocle. “Not everybody followed our advice only to swim in areas where there are lifeguards.  We warned people on countless media outlets but still this happened.  People go swimming in unguarded areas and fatalities are the result”.  

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