Chaos at Bonn's outdoor pools Angry guests, stressed staff and police call-outs
Bonn · The high temperatures caused a rush of visitors to Bonn's open-air swimming pools at the weekend. However, only three are currently open, which led to many problems at the Rüngsdorf Panoramabad, the Ennertbad and the Hardtbergbad. The Bonn police had to be called out several times.
Thousands of people from Bonn had actually come to Rüngsdorf's Panoramabad, the Ennertbad and the Hardtbergbad to cool off and relax. Not surprising, given the high temperatures. What they found, however, were long queues, arguments at the entrances, overcrowded bathing facilities and overtaxed bathing staff. This is clear from various descriptions of bathers who have contacted the GA. Particularly in the Ennertbad and the Rüngsi, chaotic scenes are said to have taken place. The Bonn police were also deployed at all three baths, as spokesman Simon Rott confirmed on Monday.
Bath staff had made "a lot of effort“
"It was a pure catastrophe, even though the pool attendants tried very hard to keep things calm," said visitor Ramona Kiel to the GA. The simplest things were lacking: for example, signposting where online ticket holders had to queue, Kiel said. Visitor Sylvia Boch had never experienced the baths so full. "No one was sticking to the rules any more," said Boch.
Early on Saturday evening, the Bonn police had to evacuate the Rüngsdorf Panorama Pool. Around 6.43 p.m., shortly before the baths closed at 7 p.m., 15 youths refused to leave the baths and got rowdy. The officers intervened.
Guest in Ennertbad: Anarchy reigned in the pool
31-year-old Julian Muhlack was a guest at the Ennertbad on Saturday. "Every inch of the poolside was occupied. People were sitting everywhere," he recalls. Swimming was almost impossible, he said, and he did his laps in a slalom. Anarchy reigned in the pool. "Every half hour there were announcements that children were lost. At least ten to fifteen times the number plates of wrong parkers were announced," the young man continued. He says the staff were overwhelmed, but "they did their best". Despite the chaotic conditions, he says he had a "great day“.
Denise Kerlin sees things a little differently. She was at the Ennertbad with her family, she had online tickets but couldn't get in. They had almost made it in front of the entrance when the ticket offices were blocked. "The woman in front of us quickly lifted her daughter over the barrier and then climbed over herself," Kerlin said. Although people were leaving the baths again, no further guests were allowed in. At some point, it was announced via megaphone that the open-air pool was closed and all those waiting should go home. Kerlin does not know if she will get a refund for her online tickets; she has contacted the city. "All in all, the hottest day for us was rather a sad experience," said the mother.
Police deploy to Ennert baths
The police report for the Ennertbad also bears witness to a rush of visitors and problems. At around 3.06 p.m. on Saturday, the police were called because several young people were disturbing other bathers with loud music. The police noted: "The incident was passed on to the public order office, who were towing away vehicles in the car park. Only 37 minutes later, another incident: a dispute at the entrance because the roller shutter was to be closed as the baths were full. The people waiting had complained loudly, and guests had been upset because they already had online tickets. The entrance area was cleared by the police. At about 5 p.m., the police were called again: because bathers were not allowed in, they insulted the staff and rattled the gate. The officers were present on the spot.
The situation was similar at the Hardtbergbad. Two people had gained access to the baths, were caught, threatened to beat the lifeguard and fled.
Römerbad cannot be opened before samples are taken
The municipality had expected a "very high number of visitors" due to the weather forecast, but the actual number of visitors exceeded expectations "by far", as Lea Hoffmann from the municipal press office explained. On Saturday, 4247 visitors were counted in the Ennertbad, 4050 in the Hardtbergbad and 4774 in the Rüngsi. On Sunday, there were 1984, 1176 and 1705 visitors respectively. "There are no absolute visitor numbers at which the baths are closed. Other factors are taken into account in addition to visitor numbers," Hoffmann said. From 4 p.m. on Saturday, the Ennertbad would have had to close due to overcrowding, and guests would also have been turned away. In the vicinity of all three open-air swimming pools, the city's public order service had monitored the traffic area. "Various parking violations, such as parking in handicapped parking spaces, on bicycle lanes, in fire brigade lanes and in no-stopping zones, were detected and punished," Hoffmann said.
In the vicinity of the Ennertbad, 35 vehicles were warned, in the vicinity of the Hardbergbad 18 vehicles and in the vicinity of the Panoramabad 36 vehicles. At the Ennertbad, two cars had to be towed away.
Römerbad to open on Saturday
As reported, the Friesdorf outdoor pool and the Römerbad are currently still closed. It is still unclear when the Friesi will open. The Römerbad in Bonn-Castell is scheduled to open next Saturday after the tiles have been repaired. GA reader Gernot Fritz did not understand why the pools of the Römerbad were already filled at the weekend when he could see them from the cycle path of the North Bridge. Nevertheless, the baths were closed. "So the city is not only incapable of keeping swimming pools functional, but so inflexible as to react in a citizen-friendly way to an impending heat wave and open one of the few pools still functioning," Fritz said. Hoffmann explained that the water now had to "rest" in order to take necessary samples before opening. Therefore, the bath could not have been opened.