Spate of drownings mark tragic start to the summer in Nice

drown nice

In the last week, three men have drowned off the coast of Nice while a fourth has been hospitalised after getting into difficulty in the sea. The tragic incidents on the famous beaches of the Promenade des Anglais have cast a dark shadow over the start of the summer season in the Riviera capital.  

The strong swell and currents experienced by swimmers in the Baie des Anges, and elsewhere in the region, over the last week or so have had fatal consequences for three men, who drowned in three separate incidents in the past week, as reported by the local French press. 

Firstly, the body of a man in his 30s was retrieved from the water mid-morning on Saturday 29th June. He is believed to have fallen into the sea from the breakwater barrier in the port. 

The following day, at around 6pm on Sunday 30th June, the Nice Matin reported that a 40-year-old man had drowned near the Plage des Ponchettes on the Promenade des Anglais. The newspaper reports that he was found around 20 metres from the shore and, despite the best efforts of a 10-strong team of firefighters who attended the scene, the victim could not be resuscitated and died of cardiac arrest.  

Meanwhile, and just metres away from Ponchettes, a 22-year-old male suffered a major scare when he became trapped by the swell. His friends, reports the Nice Matin, helped bring the young man back to the beach, where he was given emergency treatment before being transported to Nice’s Pasteur hospital. He is believed to have been discharged. 

These latter two incidents saw the red flag raised on the surrounding beaches, which were evacuated to allow the emergency services full access to the two men.  

Then, just before 1am on Tuesday 2nd July, firefighters and Samu agents were called to Cocoon Beach following reports of another man in the water. Despite all attempts to save him, the man in his 20s was later pronounced dead. 

The conditions led the Prefecture of the Alpes-Maritimes to issue a number of warnings and advice to beachgoers.  

These include keeping a watchful eye on children at all times while on the beach, as well as recommendations for swimmers who might find themselves in difficulty, such as resisting the urge to swim against the current and to turn onto your back to rest and call for help. 

The important telephone numbers to be aware of in France are 15 for the Samu, 17 for the firefighting service, which is often called in cases of dangerous accidents or moments of ‘peril’, and 196 for an at-sea rescue.  

Read related:

Safety first this summer on Monaco’s beaches 


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