Despite calls for caution, last weekend was once again dramatic on the beaches of Hérault. Sunday, in Cap d’Agde, a 50-year-old man was found dead, victim of drowning. In the department, during the day, the firefighters counted six “aquastresses”, the first stage of drowning, when a person is exhausted and panics, twelve interventions for swimmers who inhaled “lightly water” and eight to assist swimmers.
A few days earlier, on June 21, three men died of drowning at sea, in Marseillan-Plage, Villeneuve-lès-Maguelone and Valras. The same day, another could have been taken out of the water by the emergency services, in Palavas-les-Flots, and evacuated in absolute emergency at the Montpellier University Hospital. Why so many drownings on the Mediterranean coast?
Sun, heat and rough seas
For Frédéric Candaten, head of sector in Palavas-les-Flots at the SNSM (National Society for Rescue at Sea), there is, unfortunately, “nothing new. Every year, it’s the same thing “. The risks that bathers sometimes take are the result of an explosive cocktail: “A great sun, high temperatures, rough seas and people who are not used to it. “In recent weeks, strong swells and rips have surprised some swimmers.
“There remains a lack of awareness of the dangers of the Mediterranean,” deplores Frédéric Candaten. For many, the Mediterranean is a lake, a large swimming pool. Yet she is unpredictable. It is the second most dangerous sea in the world. We are wary of the Atlantic Ocean, but rarely of the Mediterranean. »Rescuers and firefighters recall the first instruction to be observed: the color of the flag. If it’s green, we can swim. Orange is dangerous. And red is forbidden.