Very few beaches are patrolled during this Easter holiday on the Atlantic coast. However, bathers are numerous as soon as the sun rises. And the danger is real. The city of Vieux-Boucau in the Landes has decided to post 6 MNS since April 16th.
“Yes, it’s calming, especially in this area where the currents are quite strong. Yesterday they asked me to move several times“.
This father realizes that it is not by accident that he takes his children to swim in Vieux-Boucau. “It’s true, if anything happens, they’re right behind us to help“.
Since Saturday April 16, six lifeguards have been monitoring the central beach of this Landes city on the edge of the Atlantic coast. At first only on weekends.
A strong will of the community concerned about the attractiveness of the coastal town. “We sometimes have very nice days with lots of people in the water so there is a genuine interest in the safety and comfort of swimmers. So that you feel comfortable with us“Explains Mayor Pierre Froustey (PS).
On this beach, a woman leads the MNS team. Cécile Portes has been doing a lot of prevention since Saturday. “At the beginning of the season we have a little more time to discuss, we take the time to explain the dangers, the importance of swimming between the two flags“.
But vigilance is always the order of the day.
We are still on a winter sea with strong waves, the water is cold, 12 degrees. It is the first bath for most people, they should not overestimate their abilitiesCécile Portes – Manager of the central beach station MNS in Vieux-Boucau (40)
Source: France 3 Aquitaine
For three days she has seen children jumping into the water. “Parents are often fully clothed by the water, children are the most adventurous!“.
The rescuer will be on duty until the All Saints’ Day holiday, as the off-season is also being looked after.
The cost of such a device? “Around 30,000 euros for security and other costs, maintenance etc. per year. It’s also not a colossal budget in terms of the convenience and security it brings to users. It is important for the attractiveness of our territory‘ assures Pierre Froustey.
The central beach is monitored every weekend and holiday until May 25th. From May 26, the MNS will be present daily from 12:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. And from July 2nd between 11am and 7pm.
See the report by Julie Chapman and Cristel Arfel:
Video length: 01min 31
Beach surveillance in spring: “Children are not strong enough to face the force of the waves of the season”
© J. Chapman – C. Arfel