top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon

British tourist killed by wave

'Shore break' phenomenon on Atlantic coast claims the life of a 36-year-old British holidaymaker

A BRITISH holidaymaker has been killed after being hit by a strong Atlantic wave while swimming on a beach in the Landes.

The 36-year-old, who has been named as Rob Walton, a rugby coach from Hinckley in Leicestershire, suffered fatal whiplash on Monday when a powerful "shore break" struck his spine.

He was holidaying at a campsite in Labenne, Landes, with his wife and four children.

Parademics spent about an hour trying to resuscitate him, after they were called to the popular surfing spot at about 14.00 yesterday.

A fellow swimmer raised the alarm. The beach was manned by lifeguards and local witnesses say the sea conditions were not particularly hazardous.

The UK Foreign Office said in a statement: "We can confirm the death of a British national in France on 10 August. We are in contact with the family to offer support at this difficult time."

Lifeguards on the Atlantic coast intervene about 20 times a day to treat victims of "shore break" - a strong wave close to the shore that can project a swimmer down to the ground with force, causing injuries to the spine, shoulders or knees.

The Gironde préfecture has handed out 100,000 flyers this summer to raise awareness of the dangers.

Across France, 275 bathers have been rescued from the sea in just two months - and 109 people died from drowning.

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France