top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
arrow down

Three family members die after being swept away by wave in Brittany

Two adults and one of their children, aged 12, were walking by the sea after a family fishing trip when the tragedy happened. Their three other children were with them but unharmed

A huge wave in Finistère, Brittany

Waves in Brittany can swell unexpectedly even in otherwise-calm conditions Pic: Laurent 3D / Shutterstock

Three people from the same family have died after being washed away by a wave in Finistère in an accident reported yesterday evening.

Six members of the family were walking on the Plogoff breakwater near Pointe du Raz, when three of them, the parents and a 12-year-old child, were taken away by a wave swell.

The man, 55, and the woman, 33, were walking with their four children when the accident took place at 18:40. The Atlantic maritime prefecture later said that they had been fishing.

Witnesses called emergency services immediately, with 45 firefighters, national marines, and around 20 gendarmes in attendance. 

Three helicopters, two SNSM (Société nationale de sauvetage) boats, fishermen, a drone team, a dog team, a maritime patrol boat, the nautical brigade of the Gendarmerie Maritime, and at least one fishing boat, were also mobilised.

The couple was recovered at around 19:30 in cardiac arrest, and the child’s body was found at 22:10. None of them could be revived.

The three other children, aged between 13 and 15, were unharmed but in a state of shock and were immediately taken under the support of a psychological care team.

Director of the Cabinet of the Prefect of Finistère, David Foltz, said that while the accident happened while the tide was still relatively high, “the climate conditions were not unusual”.

He said: “There was certainly a fairly high tidal range, but it wasn't a very rough sea. There was a swell, but it was the usual swell on the Finistère coast.

“We can in no way speak of negligence" on the part of the family, he said. “The mayor of Plogoff has never known of any accidents there, nor have emergency services ever had any drownings in this area. 

“But the coast and ocean always remain a permanent danger, in nice weather just as much as bad, and people must always be very careful.”

The first witnesses of the incident are today set to be heard by gendarmerie, to ascertain the circumstances of the accident. 

Related articles

Deadly creatures wash up on Finistère shores 

Mystery rock message in France finally 'deciphered' 

Brittany's orange sea poses no danger to public

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
Visa and residency cards for France*
Featured Help Guide
- Visas and residency cards (cartes de séjour) for France help guide - Understand when visas and residency cards are required to move to France or come for an extended stay - Applies to Britons (post-Brexit) and to all other non-EU/non-EEA/Swiss nationalities - Useful to anyone considering a move to France, whether for work or otherwise, or wanting to spend more than three months at their French second home
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now