Have fun at the beach but beware currents

With around 150 deaths by drowning on French beaches last year, divided almost equally between the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts, holidaymakers should beware the dangers and, if there are flags flying, do what they say.

Beaches on the Atlantic coast and parts of the Channel are notorious for strong waves and rip currents, caused by water rushing in and out of sand depressions called courants de baïnes.

The baïnes look like gentle pools, often facing south but shift continually. Families use them, but in rising or falling tides the water ...

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