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Swimming in Rhine and Waal: very dangerous

Swimming in the rivers Rhine and Waal is very dangerous. Every summer several people drown while swimming in these rivers. If you wish to swim in open water, it is advisable to visit the official swimming areas in Overbetuwe: Strandbad Slijk-Ewijk, Watergoed and Rijkerswoerdse Plassen. More information: www.zwemwater.nl

Safety

It is unsafe to swim in the river for several reasons:

• Locally strong currents can drag swimmers away or they may find themselves caught in a whirlpool.

• Passing ships make swimming dangerous. It is difficult to spot a swimmer from a ship, and ships often go faster than most people think. The wake caused by the ship pulls people dangerously close.

• The riverbank can be deceptively steep. Even if the beach near the river seems to slope gradually, you may encounter unexpectedly deep potholes.

• The water in the main rivers often is muddy, making it hard to spot any underwater obstacles that can cause injuries.

• Finally, the water in the river is often much colder than elsewhere, increasing the risk of cramps.

The areas where swimming in open water is allowed and where the water quality is tested regularly, are indicated by an official Province of Gelderland blue shield with white lettering. You can finds these areas on www.zwemwater.nl