Annually the Royal Dutch Rescue Company (KNRM) and the Dutch Kitesurf Association (NKV) organized a safety day for kite surfers and other interested parties. We were involved at the 2017, 2018 and 2019 edition. This Safety Day aims to increase the connection between kiters and the voluntary rescuers of the KNRM, so that rescue operations can be carried out even faster and more effectively or even prevented. The Safety Day is part of the prevention program of the KNRM.
The number of visitors from the three editions were between one hundred and three hundred visitors. The daily schedule usually consists of a part of theory and a part of practice. The volunteers of the KNRM mostly gave the kitesurfers more insight into the work of the KNRM and what the kiter can prepare before they enter the water. But also how to act in an emergency. The NKV safety expert provided the crew of the lifeboats and kiters with more information about the equipment, any available aids and what the rescuer can do before taking a kiter and equipment safe on board. Other topics were also discussed, such as sailing with a buddy, where to pay attention to when launching a kite, right of way, offshore wind and the use of material. A lot information is already repeat for many kiters, we have already achieved a lot together but these kinds of days are essential to become even more aware and competent when it comes to subjects related to safety.
In the afternoon the attendees could sail on board at the lifeboats, an exercise was carried out in which a surfer in distress is rescued. The kiters could actually experience how (less) visible a kite surfer in distress is and how to act when taking kiter and equipment on board. The NKV experts gave various clinics on the beach, such as how a “self rescue” should be carried out.
Some highlights of the three editions:
- 2018 – Minister Bruins of Medical Care and Sport visited the Safety Day for kite surfers at Zandvoort
- 2019 – more than 200 visitors @ Safety Day
- 2019 – Ruben Lenten gave a thunderous performance with his dj act