Maritime Prefecture Issues Warning Over Fast Tides on Normandy Coast

TidesPeople going to the beach along the Normandy coast this week are being reminded that there are extreme high and low tides which can catch people out.

The Maritime Prefecture says beach goers should take extra care as the tide can come in quickly and leave the more vulnerable, such as children, unable to get back in time.

The faster moving water also means there is more likely to be faster and more dangerous currents and those bathing need to be aware of this.

The advice is not to leave a child unattended, not to venture too far from land even although the tide appears to be well out, tell someone if you are going far out and not to underestimate your ability to get back fast.

Beach goers are also advised to check the weather before setting out on a long walk and to be aware of the emergency numbers if they get into difficulty ; 18 for the fire service and 112 for the European emergency service.

‘On the beach and in the water people need to take care, just as they do on the roads. The desire for freedom should be combined with common sense and responsibility,’ said a maritime prefecture spokesman.

‘The tide can move very fast, as fast as a galloping horse. We hope that people will take care,’ added the spokesman.
Tide tables can be bought in supermarkets and book shops and also on public noticeboards at beaches.

Those are most risk are the elderly, the young and the pêcheurs à pied, people who go out to catch shellfish. The good weather could attract more people than usual.

People going out seeking shellfish are also being reminded to check on local rules as some areas have a ban on catching certain species. There are also size limits for mussels and other shellfish. The minimum size is usually four centimetres and there is a maximum catch size of five litres per person on some beaches.

The Association for the conservation of coastal and marine life based at Octeville-sur-Mer, said that people should also check if mussels are fit for human consumption as bans do exist from time to time due to localised pollution. It also advises people to avoid harvesting too many wild mussels as this can damage the eco system.

About Ray Clancy

Ray Clancy has 20 years experience in journalism including contributing articles to print and on-line publications such as, Property World Middle East and websites for estate agents. She has also written for the Daily Telegraph and Mail on Sunday.

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