Danish lifeguards issue new warnings with heatwave on way

Bathe only at beaches where lifeguards are present and stay within areas marked by yellow and red flags, lifeguards in Denmark have urged as a hot spell of weather begins.

Danish lifeguards issue new warnings with heatwave on way
File photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

The coming days are expected to bring a heatwave in Denmark, prompting lifeguards to issue safety advice to people in the country for the second time this month.

Denmark's coastal lifeguard corps Trygfonden Kystlivredning (TK) is expecting to be busy during the hot spell and has issued advice reminding beachgoers to keep in mind its five bathing rules:

  • Learn to swim
  • Never go into the water alone
  • Read the water and the wind
  • Familiarize yourself with the beach
  • Do not let children out of sight.

Additionally, all beach visitors are urged to only bathe at beaches where lifeguards are present and stay within areas marked by yellow and red flags.

“Where there are lifeguards, there’s extra supervision. And if you swim between the flags you will be particularly-well looked out for,” Michael Iwersen, an educator with TK, said.

The red-yellow flags mark a ‘primary zone’ prioritized for monitoring by lifeguards, and where bathing is recommended.

“Lifeguards have a constant eye on the water in their primary zone so they can see if anybody gets into trouble,” Iwersen said.

Flags placed at the top of lifeguard towers also provide information about swimming conditions. A red and yellow flag means that swimming conditions are normal, while a completely yellow flag means caution should be taken, for example due to offshore winds.

A red flag means bathing is discouraged.

Offshore winds, which may occur in some coastal areas this week, mean that wind blows away from the shore.

“Offshore wind can be treacherous, because you don’t notice it if you are sheltered by cliffs. Out on the water, things might seem mild and flat,” Iwersen said.

“So you might be unaware that the wind can push someone in the water away from the coast,” he explained.

If the wind blows a beach toy out to sea, it’s important not to swim after it, the lifeguard instructor stressed.

He also advised informing a lifeguard if a toy or object has been lost, so as to avoid an unnecessary rescue operation.

Bathers on beaches without lifeguards should be even more stringent about following the five rules for safe swimming at sea.

READ ALSO: Five places to go in Denmark when the weather is hot

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How much will it snow in Denmark this weekend?

Winter weather arrived in spectacular fashion to coincide with the beginning of December this week. The weekend could bring more snow to parts of the country but probably less disruption than recent days.

Parts of Denmark have seen heavy snow in early December.
Parts of Denmark have seen heavy snow in early December. Photo: Bo Amstrup/Ritzau Scanpix

Recent snowstorms disrupted North Jutland in particular and Denmark in general, and more cold weather can be expected this weekend albeit severe, according to forecasts.

“We won’t see the Ragnarok-like weather we’ve seen in some places recently again this weekend, but it’s now winter weather and it has also snowed in several places overnight,” said meteorologist Frank Nielsen of the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI).

READ ALSO: IN PICTURES: Early December blizzards disrupt Denmark

Cold weather on Friday and a low front across the North Sea will bring clouds and precipitation across Denmark from the west, Nielsen said.

That will materialise as cold rain or sleet in many areas but probably snow in North Jutland, he said.

“There could be between five and ten centimetres of snow north of the Limfjord,” the meteorologist said, referring to the waterway that cuts across the northern part of Jutland, including main regional city Aalborg.

“In the southern part of the country, an equivalent five to ten centimetres of rain could fall,” he added.

Friday’s temperature will be between freezing point and five degrees Celsius, with the north of the country falling in to the lower end of that range and the south the warmer end.

Mist and fog is forecast this evening, caused by various weather fronts moving over Denmark.

That could still be felt on Saturday morning, though it is likely to be a little warmer at 2-6 degrees Celsius. Mild winds could make that fell chiller, but snow is unlikely.

Sunday will see the temperature drop again, to 0-4 degrees Celsisu. Snow is possible, particularly on eastern coasts.

Strong winds in the east of the country and along the coasts will result in a “rather cold 24 hours,” Nielsen said.

Nighttime temperatures are expected to drop below zero throughout the weekend. Motorists are therefore warned to be alert to icy road surfaces.