The Princess Charlene Foundation’s mission continues in the north of France, where teams are helping to teach beach-loving tourists the skills that could one day save their lives.
As the masses head to the coast to escape the heatwave and enjoy a vacation during what is the busiest month of the year, the risk of drowning increases exponentially.
Every three years, Santé Publique France conducts a survey to analyse drownings that have occurred on French territory. The 2018 survey revealed a marked increase in figures compared to the previous survey.
In 2021, the figures confirmed that the most vulnerable groups are children under the age of six, accounting for 26% of drownings, many of which occur in private family swimming pools. People aged over 65 account for 20 % of drownings.
While the causes of these accidents are varied, not knowing how to swim is one of the most important factors of drowning. It is for this reason that the French government has adopted ‘Knowing how to swim’, a policy that is at the origin of The Beach Tour in Loire-Atlantique.
And this year, The Beach Tour has attracted the support of the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation.
The programme takes the form of an awareness-raising village on the beaches of Loire-Atlantique for summer visitors. The target audience is wide: young children, teenagers, young adults, parents, grandparents… because no one is immune from the risks of drowning.
But an emphasis is placed on teaching young kids how to swim, and teaching everybody vital life-saving skills and safe behaviours.
The project travels to beaches throughout the region and can involve up to 200 people per day.
This week, The Beach Tour welcomed Ukranian refugees, providing some potentially life-saving skills to the region’s new residents.
Top photo source/credit: L’Etat et le sport en Loire-Atlantique – SD JES 44 Facebook page