Hemmoor Cretaceous Lake: Dangerous Area for Divers? | NDR.de – News – Lower Saxony

Status: 07/17/2022 09:48

The Kreidesee in the district of Cuxhaven is one of the most popular dive sites in Germany. But time and time again people have accidents while diving in a clear, deep lake. Why?

The last death was just a week ago. Last Sunday, a 50-year-old man from Wilhelmshaven died while diving in Hemmoor. The lake in the Warstade district is 60 meters deep and offers many underwater attractions. Good visibility as the water is low in nutrients and therefore little algae grows. The lake is also a testimony to over a hundred years of cement mining. The factory was demolished in 1986. Over the years, the lake has become an attraction. It attracts people from all over the world.

VIDEO: Tiefenrausch – Operation in the diving area (14/09/2021) (29 min)

Dive Center Operator: Kreidesee is not the reason

Holger Schmoldt does not see, however, that the danger to divers is greater here than elsewhere. Runs a Hemmoor dive center. The lake is not the reason, he says. He noticed that people are getting into the water more and more after poor training. Some also had previous illnesses. Of course, each death is one too many, says a former police diver. However, if you compare the worldwide accident statistics for divers, statistically more people should be injured in Hemmoor.

Every year, 35,000 dives take place in the chalk lake

A diver examines a shipwreck in the Cretaceous Sea.  © dpa-Bildfunk Photo: Julian Mühlenhaus

Even the sinking of the wrecks in Kreidesee was an attraction.

His Demand: Better training and stricter guidelines – especially in the US diving associations. For economic reasons, they presented “rather undemanding test conditions,” he says. In any event, the Hemmoorer Kreidesee does not deserve to be called “the lake of death.” None of this affects the acceptance among scuba divers anyway. Every year, 35,000 dives are counted here.

Chronicle of Serious Diving Accidents in Kreidesee

NDR Lower Saxony has asked the Cuxhaven Police Inspection for a list of Kreidesee incidents in the past five years. Records 911 calls, emergencies and deaths.


  • I have problems with an emergency ascent to a depth of eight meters. He died after unsuccessful CPR
  • Diving accident last weekend. The missing person is found dead after approximately 45 minutes


  • The diver has an accident due to icing of the automat – not life threatening, but requires hospitalization
  • Reporting a missing person (he was not present during the ascent), reporting a person later – unscathed


  • The diver has problems with a controlled ascent and ascends too quickly from a depth of about 16 meters – he is flown into the decompression chamber by a helicopter
  • Diving instructor complains of various ailments while surfacing, is taken to hospital by emergency helicopter


  • A diver experiences a panic attack at a depth of 40 meters, an uncontrolled ascent with an instructor. They both have to go to the hospital
  • The diver signals problems at a depth of ten meters and falls backward. Died, cause of death unknown
  • The diver suffers from back pain at a depth of 22 meters, unconscious during the ascent. Need to be resuscitated


  • Circulation problems after diving. Injured on land and treated locally
  • Three people had to be looked after after an emergency ascent, the oxygen cylinders were frozen
  • death. The person surfaced along with three other divers and suddenly sank into the depths


  • Panic attack at a depth of 30 meters – the person is treated with 80 percent oxygen and taken to the hospital
  • reporting a missing person. Person is not present on emergency ascent, reports later – not injured

Further information

The diver is in a chalk lake.  © dpa-Bildfunk Photo: Sina Schuldt

4 minutes

Kreidesee is one of the dive sites in Germany with over 30,000 dives. 4 minutes

Aerial view showing the Osten-Hemmoor transport bridge over the Oste River.  © Picture Alliance / Zoonar Photo: Jürgen Wackenhut

Two special features draw visitors to Hemmoor in the Cuxhaven region: the chalk lake, popular with divers and fishermen, and the historic transport bridge over the River Oste. (03/29/2020) more

Anytime to listen

View of Lappan, the landmark of the city of Oldenburg.  © NDR Photo: Julius Matuschik

8 minutes

You can hear what’s important in your region in the 15:00 regional news broadcast on NDR 1 Lower Saxony. 8 minutes

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NDR 1 Lower Saxony | Oldenburg Region | 17/07/2022 | 08:00

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