Body of missing swimmer, 16, found on the coast; German boy died trying to save family

A body found along the Zuid-Holland coast was identified as a young swimmer who disappeared in the water near Wassenaar on Tuesday afternoon. The 16-year-old German boy was believed to have been trying to assist his relatives when they had trouble swimming at the Wassenaarse Slag beach.

The German family was visiting the shore while on vacation. Three relatives went into the sea, but stayed somewhat close to shore as the 16-year-old was not a strong swimmer. Two of the three swimmers had difficulty in the water, and the 16-year-old tried in vain to rescue them, representatives of the KNRM rescue service told Omroep West and ANP.

“He paid for that with his life,” a KNRM spokesperson told Omroep West.

The group of three relatives managed to make it to safety as the teenager struggled, and they urgently asked lifeguards for help. They called emergency services workers who sent out a massive response for a search and rescue mission from about 5:15 p.m., including helicopters, boats, paramedics, firefighters, spotters on the shore, and a trauma team in an air ambulance.

People who were visiting the beach that afternoon formed a human chain in an effort to find the boy. The search at the Wassenaarse Slag was unsuccessful, and efforts were called off at around 8:40 p.m.

His body was found between Wassenaar and Katwijk at about 7 a.m. on Wednesday, police confirmed. “It is a fatal accident. We wish the relatives a great deal of strength.”

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