Flemish Tourism Minister Zuhal Demir (N-VA) is calling on parents to put anti-lost wristbands on their children when visiting the coast. These are reportedly available free of charge from lifeguards, but also from tourist offices and public toilets.
Last summer, almost 900 children were lost on the Flemish coast. Most of them were not wearing an anti-lost wristband.
However, every year the Intermunicipal Coastal Rescue Service for West Flanders (IKWV) makes 750,000 wristbands available to tourists, asking users to write down their names and telephone number.
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“They cost nothing and are widely available, so why risk losing your child for hours at a time? Not only is that very bad for your heart, but many lifeguards cannot also do their core task – keeping an eye on swimmers – if they are helping with the search,” says Demir.
The Minister also calls on parents to agree on a clear landmark and meeting point with their children as well as to familiarise them with coast rescuers.