Five surfers drown in rough seas off Dutch coast

A man holds flowers on the beach in Scheveningen, on April 12, 2020. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

AMSTERDAM (REUTERS) - Five experienced surfers drowned in rough seas off the Dutch coast near The Hague, the city's mayor said on Tuesday (May 12).

The men set out from Scheveningen beach late on Monday afternoon and got into trouble when the wind changed direction and up to a metre of foam formed on top of the waves.

"People here know that the sea gives and takes, but the manner in which so many young lives has been cut off is unimaginably cruel," Mayor Johan Remkes told a news conference.

He described the victims as "fit, young sporty people who know the water there like the back of their hands."

People gathered on the beach on Tuesday clutching flowers.

Rescue workers recovered two of the victims on Monday but could not resuscitate the victims and found two more bodies on Tuesday morning.

The body of the fifth victim was spotted in the sea but could not yet be retrieved.

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