It‘s the most beautiful skating Saturday in years and we want to know that too. Thousands of Dutch people bind the slippery irons, because skating on natural ice is the most beautiful thing there is.
In this live blog we keep track of everything about this beautiful day.
15.30 Water to Hofvijver The Haag turret once again made ice free
Part of the natural ice against the side of the turret at the Hofvijver in The Hague is currently being taken away by a specialized company.
The action attracts many bystanders and also there are still many skaters on the pond.
15.15 GP posts overloaded by accidents on the ice The
Doctor’s guard Fryslân is overloaded by all accidents on the ice that happened Saturday, reports Omrop Fryslân. There are five general medical stations in the province of Friesland, of which the telephone lines are almost impossible to reach. The Doctor‘s Guard asks people with skate-related injuries to postpone a visit to the GP as much as possible.
The most common injuries are broken wrists and hips, cuts to the forehead and concussions. The Doctor’s Guard therefore advises people to wear wrist protectors and helmets when skating. For example, to avoid injuries to the hip, a piece of cardboard can be put in the pants. This causes the blow of a fall to be distributed more.
In the event of a fall, according to the Doctor‘s Watch, it is important to cool immediately. If the part of the body is still moving, then the probability of a bone fracture is small and contact with a doctor can wait. In case of a possible broken hip or other serious injuries, it is important to call 112.
14.10 Anyone play a game of ice chess?
While many tens of thousands of skating enthusiasts enjoy themselves on the ice this weekend, four fanatical chess players deliberately dropped themselves into the ice on Saturday morning to play a few parties around a floating chessboard.
The foursome had first chopped a wak in the thick ice layer on the flooded floodplains of the Rhine near Wageningen, after which they almost dropped themselves in the water.
Bystanders and passers-by did not know what they saw. Saskia Weijman was also an eyewitness of the not everyday scene. Looking over the ice plain from the Grebbedijk, she saw four almost undressed men in bags, after they had first chopped a muck.
“ It was about 10 o’clock. I was walking with my dog and I saw four men chopping up in the thick ice layer. Then they let themselves down into the icy water. Around it were still some fat dressed people. I took a look at it and thought they were crazy. But at the same time I also thought it was very tough men. When I got home, I saw two of them playing chess too. And a little later, the other two were sitting on the chessboard. It was so untruthful to see,” says Weijman, who happened to walk with dog.
13.25 Large crowds at skating areas, municipalities close roads
In various places where skating can be done, it is very busy. Several municipalities have closed roads.
The North Holland municipality of Waterland has closed the main road N518 towards Zuiderwoude and Marken. Many people want to skate at the Gouwzee, but it is too busy and there is a risk that the emergency services can no longer pass through, according to the municipality. In Alphen aan den Rijn people can no longer go to the Treinweg. On the N231 they are sent back by traffic controllers.
It is also too busy at the skating areas in Stichtse Vecht. At Breukelen the roundabout is closed. The village remains accessible to emergency services, residents and suppliers, says the municipality.
The municipality of Eemnes lets you know that the parking lot at Stichtse Strand is full. People who still come run the risk of their car being towed away, according to the municipality.
12.30 Fines handed out at overcrowded nature reserve Botshol
The police and boas distribute fines on Saturday at the nature reserve Botshol near the municipality of De Ronde Venen (Utrecht). It is again very busy in the wetlands and swamp area between Abcoude and Waverveen and not everyone adheres to the rules according to the municipality.
Several visitors have parked their cars wrong. According to the municipality, they can count on a fine.
In Alphen aan den Rijn people are asked not to come to the Treinweg to skate anymore. According to the municipality, the coronare rules cannot be guaranteed. Traffic controllers have been deployed to send people back on the N231.
In Eindhoven it is very busy at the Karpendonkse Plas. The municipality asks people to visit another place to skate.
According to the municipality, the road near the Bonkevaart is full of cars in Leeuwarden. The roadhas been shut down. The municipality asks visitors to keep space for the emergency services.
12.00 Skating on the Prinsengracht
People are on Saturday morning skating on the Prinsengracht in Amsterdam. The ice on the canals seemed too thin for a long time, but a group of about thirty men ventured on the ice on the Prinsengracht in the morning. The municipality warned Saturday afternoon that the ice on the canals is often still unreliable. On the Prinsengracht, a woman fell through the ice. She could be saved by bystanders.
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Friday the municipality called on Amsterdammers to skate as much as possible in their own neighbourhood, to prevent crowds and thus the spread of the coronavirus. When it gets really too busy, the city doesn‘t hesitate to shut down parts of the ice.
On Thursday the police wrote a fine to a man who destroyed the layer of ice on the Prinsengracht with his boat. The man got the ticket because he went against the direction, says the police. Not for destroying the ice.
11.00 a.m. Emergency services are pulling out massively: the boy rescued
The fire brigade in Hardinxveld-Giessendam must be there Saturday morning to bring a boy out of the water from the Hakgriend. The boy was treated in an ambulance.
9.55 am In various places parking places at skating areas already full
various places in the country, parking places are already full due to the arrival of skating enthusiasts. On Kinderdijk there are no more places available, according to the Veligheidsregio Zuid-Holland-Zuid. There are traffic regulators deployed there.
Also around Loosdrecht there are no more parking spaces. According to the ANWB, the N403 is busy with people trying to reach the Loosdrechtse Plassen. The Henschotermeer in Woudenberg (Utrecht) can also be skated this weekend. Here people had to buy a ticket beforehand. These sold out quickly.
Ice skating enthusiasts reported early on Saturday morning to the Loosdrechtse Plassen, among others, to get on the ice.
8.55 hours People early on the skate
People went out early on Saturday morning to go skating. Images from the webcam at the Loosdrechtse Plassen already show several people on the ice. Ice skating enthusiasts are already skating at the Veluweweer.
This weekend, there is an overestimated arrival of skaters on lakes, ponds and canals at various places. Cabinet, security regions and ice associations are also calling on everyone to limit travel movements and to meet as few people as possible. Even though there is such a beautiful ice floor, it is not intended that everyone there will be skating, they say, referring to measures against the spread of the coronavirus.
On Friday, Mayor Ap Reinders of Stichtse Vecht (province of Utrecht) threatened to introduce an emergency regulation in and around De Molenpolder due to the enormous admissibility. Until Sunday, cars are not allowed in the ice skating area. The Maarsseveense Lakes and the Loosdrechtse Lakes are therefore not accessible for skaters who come by car.
Minister Grapperhaus suggested earlier this week that people should go up early in order to avoid crowds.
3.30 Calls not to train together on the ice because of corona
The Cabinet, mayors and ice clubs call for as few people as possible this weekend and to limit travel movements. Even though there is such a beautiful ice floor, it is not intended for everyone to skate there, they say they are referring to measures against the spread of the coronavirus.
Skating Association KNSB asks everyone to be sensible, to stay close to home and to skate only on ponds, canals or ditches in their own hometown. Keeping enough distance from other skaters is the motto. On the courses of the natural ice clubs, the protocol for coronaproof skating is respected.
Hubert Bruls, President of the Security Council of the 25 Security Regions, warns that municipalities can also decide on weekends to close skating rinks, lakes and ponds to skaters when things get too busy. Like Minister Ferd Grapperhaus of Justice, Bruls calls on people to first inform them whether there is a busy place. Ice skating enthusiasts should also check the internet if natural ice is accessible by car in the area. Many municipalities close down roads and prohibit parking in roadside roads. Whoever does risks a fine.
The Icemaster app had already been downloaded 60,000 times on Friday, since it started to snow and freeze last weekend. Through the app, skating enthusiasts can keep each other informed about the condition of the ice and of locations, anywhere in the Netherlands, where skating can be done.
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