FIVE people have died in two drowning accidents and another three are missing.
Three young women – two of them pregnant – and a 15-year-old boy drowned at Trouville in Normandy while swimming in an unsupervised area of the beach.
Meanwhile, three men are missing after an upturned launch was found off Saint Tropez. A woman’s body was found in the sea nearby.
The tragedy at Trouville came after a group of about 60 people arrived on Saturday as part of a church outing from Romainville, Seine-Saint-Denis.
One of the party got into trouble in the sea near the former Les Roches Noires hotel and five others had struggled when they went to help.
They had been on a sandbank about 150metres from the shore when the sea rose and cut them off.
The three women, aged 24, 20 and 19, were pulled from the sea but could not be revived.
Two young women were rescued and revived by CRS rescue teams and a doctor who had been in the area. They were taken to hospital in Lisieux.
The body of the 15-year-old boy was recovered in the evening.
In the Saint Tropez accident, police said a launch had left the beach at Pampelonne, Ramatuelle, for Cogolin in the Var on Friday evening with four people on board: three men and a woman.
The alert was raised when the boat failed to return to port. It was later spotted upside down with a body floating alongside.
No trace has been found of the others on board.
Rescuers also had to help save 18 windsurfers in a race between La Tranche-sur-Mer and the Ile de Ré in the Charente-Maritime.
About 400 windsurfers had been in Saturday’s 22km race when a group got into difficulties due to the strong weather.
They were rescued by launches, Zodiacs from the Société nationale de secours et de sauvetage en mer life-saving group and two helicopters.
Photo: Franck Lassagne