Advanced help stations to avoid drowning before the season in Aude

You will be very much to enjoy The Ascension Bridge this weekend. With the heat already present at the start of the season, there will be people at the water’s edge. Beware Mediterranean Sea can be dangerous. She has killed two Toulouse miners last weekend. We’ve talking about it with the Aude firefighters and Lieutenant Jean-Pierre Cirès, rescue chief of the department’s SDIS nautical team. You should know that interventions have increased by 25% according to the Regional Operational Center for Monitoring and Rescue of the Mediterranean (Cross Med). Last year, nearly forty drowned.

Two young people at the best age of life drowning in the supposedly calm Mediterranean. it surprises you? Or it is unfortunately becoming more and more common.

Unfortunately, this is common before and after the season.

Do you know if these two young people could swim?

No, I can not communicate about that. An investigation is underway and it is the prosecutor who can answer you.

In Narbonne, in Gruissan, one gets the impression that the sea is always very calm. Should we always be on guard against the Mediterranean?

But it is the great black spot of the Mediterranean. Everyone thinks that the Mediterranean Sea is a sea that is not dangerous because there are no big waves. We have no foam, we do not have the sound of the Atlantic Ocean. Except that the Mediterranean is a sea that is dangerous below the water surface. Throughout the winter, we have major morphological changes in the body of water compared to the harsh ocean, the vast harsh ocean we can have. And we have sandbanks that regularly change position and create strong currents.

So we must always be on guard, or are there still weather conditions that make us say that the sea is so much the more dangerous?

So as was the case this weekend after a big swell on Friday, we had a big swell, which was announced by all the prefectures of Occitanie, whether it be Pyrénées-Orientales, Aude or Hérault. They had announced a big swell. The swell took place on Friday. And after this shower, for 24 to 75 hours, even sometimes up to 96 hours, we still have residual rip currents. And these streams, for a neophyte, you can not see them with the naked eye.

The wind, Tramontane, should that also warn us?

Tramontana is not the same danger. Tramontane, the water cools. We have no tear current and there it will be, if you are with an air mattress or something, it can take you offshore. The greatest danger is with a wind coming from the sea.

How do we know the swimming conditions? You say it, we do not go with the naked eye, we do not necessarily know when there is hard sea or not. What do you do when you arrive at a beach?

In advance, there are the prefectures that communicate, all municipalities that communicate on all social networks. We also have the local press, which communicates. So you have to get closer to these places.

To swim alone, even when you are a good swimmer, should you always avoid a lieutenant?

Yes, so the advice we can already give is not to swim away. Do not assume his strengths. You do not have to go too far. Then I told you about the sandbanks. Today, in the Aude department, we have sandbanks that really go offshore. They can bring you by walking up to 150 meters from the edge. Except that if you get out of the sandbar, you will fall into deeper water where we will have power. So I said, do not go too far from the edge. You should also not swim near the dikes. Dikes are always dangerous because there is much more depth and much more current. And also for municipalities that have rock hens at sea, one should not swim near the rocks, it is the same. We have much more depth and much more current.

So do not go too far and maybe swim parallel to the beach as well. That’s a good idea too, right?

Yes Yes. After the favorite sport, as soon as the weather is good, it’s the kids. Many people come to relax, but they let their children sail on their own. And it’s dangerous for children. So you have to take care of your kids.

In your opinion, Lieutenant Cirès, can many accidents be avoided?

If everyone did their job, yes. Kids, it’s still my favorite sport. In the high season, when the help stations are activated, we spend the whole day looking for the children that the parents have left alone.

How do you perceive this long ascension weekend after the tragedy we mentioned?

Next weekend we get strong land winds. So we still want fewer people on the beaches. And all municipalities have set up advanced aid stations. So this coming weekend, I do not worry so much.

Lieutenant Cirès, do you regret that the beaches are not under surveillance until the summer?

So for the Aude department, the municipalities with SDIS are setting up advanced help stations. This had been the case for two weekends in the Aude department. We do not monitor swimming, but we bring firefighters closer to the public. It’s something that works very well.

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