Floods in Belgium – jet ski team rescues 13 people and a dog from campsite

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Several people were surprised by the floods in Esneux, Belgium. The fire brigade could not save them – but they gave the mission to a jet ski club.

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South of Liège, three members of a jet ski club rescued people from a flooded campsite on July 15, 2021.

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“The people were very happy about it, because for many the water was already at chest level.  It was urgent! », Says Anthony Beernaut, Manager of the O2R Club.

«People were very happy about that because many the water was already at chest level. It was urgent! “, tells Anthony Beernaut, Manager des O2R-Clubs.

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The Liège region, near the border with Germany and the Netherlands, has been hardest hit by the floods.

The Liège region, near the border with Germany and the Netherlands, has been hardest hit by the floods.

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  • After severe storms, several people found themselves in need on a campsite in Esneux, Belgium.

  • Because the fire brigade could not help, members of a local jet ski club had to move out.

  • The boss describes his experiences as a savior.

The vacationers at a campsite in the Belgian town of Esneux south of Liège were surprised by the rising water on Thursday. Within a very short time they were trapped by the floods, families with children and the elderly would have drowned had it not been for members of a local jet-Ski clubs would have stood in to help.

«The fire brigade called us in the afternoon and asked us to evacuate the campsite, yes er could no longer be reached by ambulance»says Anthony Beernaut, manager of the O2R club, to RTBF. Beernaut put together a team of three, and they were there a little later. «People were very happy about that because many the water was already at chest level. It was urgent! “

“Are you from the fire department?”

When the jet skis reached the people in need, einige surprised: «‘Are you a firefighter?’ They asked us. We explained to them that we were only jet skiers but had come to help», says Beernaut. He himself had to save an 80-year-old woman. «It has you not really fun, the wind, the rain and the current scared her more than anything else»says the Belgian.

The rescue was not easy: the jet skis had to transport people 500 meters up the river, where they were received by rescue workers. «It was a bit complicated because we really had to go against the current with people who have no experience on jet skiing. Some were scantily dressed, we took people out in underwear », so Beernaut. He and his team saved a total of 13 people and a dog.

No boat could reach the people

The rescue operation took a couple of hours. «The fire department was happy to have us. They had tried a big boat before, but without much success. The jet ski has the advantage that it does not need so much water to function. “

Anthony Beernaut is doing now Concerns about the consequences of the floods: In addition to the humann Great environmental damage is also to be feared. «Most people still use oil to heat the campsite. Cisterns fell into the river, chemicals got into the water. The impact of pollution in this disaster will be enormous», he says.

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