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Three drownings a day in France this summer

Reuters

Three people drowned every day on average in France over the last two months, according to a report published Monday. Nearly half the deaths took place in the sea, while five per cent were in bathtubs and similar installations.

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Between 1 June and 26 July 172 people drowned in France, according to an inquiry by the Institut de Veille Sanitaire (InVS), which works with the interior ministry.

That’s an average of three a day, the researchers point out, adding that 27 of the victims were under 27 years old and that five of them were under six. Two of the very young children died in home swimming pools.

There were another 237 cases of people almost drowning.

Of the 409 total number of cases:

  • 47 per cent were at sea;
  • 22 per cent were in rivers or streams;
  • 15 per cent were in swimming pools;
  • 11 per cent were in lakes or ponds;
  • Five per cent were in “other places (bathtubs, pools etc)”.

The InVS produces a guide to safe swimming, available from tourist offices, police and rescue services.

Marseille closed 15 of its 21 beaches on Monday because of heavy rain in the morning.

The southern city frequently has to close beaches because polluted water gets mixed with rain water when a dam on the river Huveaune overflows.

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