A storm in the Polish sailing paradise Masuria cost the lives of at least four sailors. Seven water sports enthusiasts are still missing. It is feared that there will be more victims.
Among the dead is a five-year-old child who was washed out of the overturned boat on Sniardwy Lake near Okartow.
Almost all important connections in Masuria, such as traffic routes and communication lines, were affected. Many roads are closed due to knocked down trees and fallen branches. Entire towns in Masuria no longer had electricity or telephone connections. 8,000 households were without electricity.
The storm tore trees more than a meter in diameter out of the earth. In many houses and barns, the wind tore off the roof or even walls at around 130 km / h. About 50 boats overturned on the Masurian Lake District.
A sailor was able to save six people with his boat who were floating in the stormy seas after their boat capsized.
The Polish website polskaweb reports: “What is very tragic about the event is that the Polish weather service announced on Thursday that the warning of the storm could not be issued in time because thieves had stolen parts of a radar system in Masuria. This is how petty criminals become real criminals."
After the accident, criticism of the loose boat rental practice in Masuria was loud in Poland. Sailing ships are chartered out to crews who have hardly any certificates and often only have limited sailing knowledge. Many sailors apparently underestimated the storm. The victims did not wear life jackets.