Tragedy has struck along the coast of the Netherlands where at least five surfers are known to have died at Scheveningen beach near The Hague.
The incident occurred on Monday, May 11, when strong winds, challenging currents and a deep layer of sea foam moved in and surprised a group of approximately 10 surfers.
According to DutchNew.nl, the search for six missing surfers began Monday afternoon. Three victims were rescued, two of whom were later pronounced dead. The operation was then paused due to darkness. It resumed again on Tuesday morning. Two more bodies have now been recovered, bringing the total number of victims to five. The rotors of a Coast Guard helicopter had reportedly been used to try and clear the ocean's surface of some of the sea foam.
"The strong wind from a northern direction and strong sea current due to the spring tide made the joint search actions a tricky job," explained the lifeguard service KNRM in a statement.
Those that lost their lives have been reported to be experienced surfers and included two surf school instructors/lifeguards. Their identities have yet to be officially released at this time.
"How can it be that people with so much experience and who knew this place so well came to die?" remarked The Hague mayor Johan Remkes at a press conference.
Our deepest condolences go out to all of friends, family and tight-knit Dutch surfing community at this time.