This post is a straight translation of an article in the Nouvelle République of 16 August 2012. There has been an average of 3 drownings a day in France this summer - a figure that has shocked everyone. Note that swimming in the Loire at Amboise and a number of other places is banned. In the midst of the current heatwave, with temperatures up to 38C (100F) it is often all too tempting to go swimming in unsupervised or deceptively enticing rivers.
After the drowning of a 10 year old boy on Monday in the Loire at Amboise it seems wise to recall the dangers of a river which is calm only on the surface.
last October. We wrote about it here.
Shocked by the drama of Monday, the people of Amboise asked if the municipal police can't intervene when there are swimmers. 'Indeed, they can do so, and just last week were making people get out,' explained the mayor, Christian Guyon. Next to Nazelles-Négron there are campervans which come down right to the edge of the beach for the night and the occupants take advantage of being able to swim. 'We have to inform and educate the tourists,' explained a resident. Monday, with the drama unfolding only a few hundred metres from them, there were still swimmers around Amboise. Upstream from the bridge you could also spot people up on boards, paddle in hand, without a life jacket.
Original article in French by Pascal Laurent.
I'd appreciate it if our bilingual readers with the time and inclination could check my translation please. The comment about the shifting sands didn't quite make sense to me for instance. Newspaper articles are always difficult to translate well as there always seems to be so much assumed knowledge and detail left out.
The point of the article is clear though: the sand underfoot and the currents in the stream are treacherous in rivers. They are dangerous places to swim unless you are at a clearly designated swimming spot. If you are engaged in any sort of boating activity, for goodness sake wear a lifejacket. And never leave children unsupervised around water.