Home » So intense that a psychologist was even provided for the candidates: this was the final of ‘Kamp Waes’

So intense that a psychologist was even provided for the candidates: this was the final of ‘Kamp Waes’

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The first seconds of the Kamp Waes final started with a striking message. “This is the report of the last 24 hours. As always, the safety of the candidates is central. But… it can get intense. That is why we recommend that children under the age of twelve watch under the supervision of an adult.”

So that didn’t bode well. The final took place in the abandoned quarry of Malmédy. A remote place where not a living soul could be found. The van arrived in which members of the so-called Rimski group had stored the captured Kaat and Dries Borstlap. They were overpowered by the terrorists last time.

Dries quickly lost his laughter. — © vrt

Little did they know that it would be hours of suffering. Kaat and Dries were held in a cage in a hangar. But with hoods over their heads and headphones so they couldn’t see or hear the rest. Once dropped off, things immediately got rough. Phase 1 of the interrogation consisted of overwhelming the prisoners. Four years ago, the hardest scenes were cut by the makers, this time more was shown.

Kaat had a hard time mentally. — © vrt

Lode, Sarah and Jolan were able to escape. They thought that Camp Waes was over, but that was wrong. They had to save the duo. The three were reinforced by SF members Adri and Ralph to form a full-fledged team. They had to get to work the next night, and once they succeeded they would be picked up by helicopter. Time was running out, because the situation at Kaat and Dries was becoming increasingly dire. For several hours they had been intimidated, shouted at, and tied up barefoot without food or water.

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Dries persevered for hours. — © vrt

Psychological guidance

Then Dries’ interrogation followed. A few days ago he had learned from Fly that they had to save as much time as possible during an interrogation. Including with a fake story to mislead the hostage takers. That gave the rest time to prepare a counterattack. Dries didn’t budge, Kaat had a more difficult time. After five hours of captivity and an impending cold night, it became a hearty meal. A war of attrition awaited, physically and mentally. The team had even provided a psychologist to keep an eye on things.

Dries barely flinched. — © vrt

After the first interrogations, Dries and Kaat’s stories turned out to differ considerably. There was clearly not enough background story agreed in advance. That gave the terrorists new minutiae to play brother and sister against each other. “Dries is more arrogant, leading man,” they concluded. Something that apparently would not be appropriate as a hostage in such situations if it were real. Kaat accepted everything much more resignedly.

It became more and more intense. — © vrt

The rescue operation had begun in the other camp. “Your colleagues are going to be used as a living shield if you invade there,” Fly predicted. And so the strongest possible plan was devised. Sarah became team leader because she saved the operation the night before. She was allowed to meticulously prepare the entire raid.

The hour of truth

The planning was completed at 11 p.m. “We leave at 4.15 am to free Kaat and Dries and overpower the terrorists. Ralph will take up an elevated position as a sniper. On his signal, the others take action,” he said.

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The pressure was increased in the quarry. Chatting and cold water on the face, with the aim of breaking resistance. Even towards morning the interrogations continued. It wasn’t until 6 o’clock that they were left handcuffed again.

During the liberation. — © vrt

In the meantime, the rest were on their way, albeit dropped a few kilometers from the action area. At dawn Ralph arrived at the right position, the rest also approached the warehouse. At the agreed signal everyone rushed in. The raid went according to plan, with ‘Kamp Waes’ as the winners. The terrorists were eliminated. Dries was still quite good, Kaat was in worse shape. In her brother’s arms she was able to recover from all her emotions.

Breathe with relief. — © vrt

For a moment it seemed like it was going to fail

They were still in hostile territory and had to get out. The helicopter was four kilometers away. On a hill, so everyone had to go uphill. The flight straight through the forests and waterways was tough. Too spicy, because Kaat became unwell.

Kaat became unwell. — © vrt

The no-play signal came at 8:42 am. Yet they did not want to stop now. Finally, on the morning of day eleven, it was decided that all of Kaat’s equipment would go to the others, and Kaat was helped upstairs with support.

The very last steps. — © vrt

The end beckoned, or not? The helicopter suddenly couldn’t land there, and everyone had to go to a different pick-up point. Twelve kilometers further. Because it became too intense, everyone was given an hour to regain their strength. Including food, drinks and sleeping bag for Kaat. Later, with the very last strength, they sprinted to the finish line.

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Finally the helicopter was able to land. — © vrt

Afterwards the five were addressed by Lieutenant Colonel Christophe Comhair. With words of praise, the mission appeared to be a success. Tom Waes actually became emotional about what they all did. And Fly? He was happy too. “It exceeded my wildest expectations.”

Tom actually became emotional. — © vrt

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