Caution in the water during the heatwave!

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26 deaths by drowning have already been recorded since mid-May in the four departments of the Mediterranean coast, including 16 in the department of Hérault alone.

Please adopt the right actions to avoid dramas in the water, is the message from
Christophe Castaner, Minister of the Interior.

In the whole of France, nearly 60 deaths by drowning were recorded in the single month of July this year.

Christian Poirel, doctor and deputy head of Sdis 34 said “The other special feature of this year is that we have had a lot of old people who have had fatal illnesses on the beach, probably because of the heat shock.”

M Poirel went on to say “we have to understand that our body is at 37 °, and when the outside temperature increases, the body does everything to cool down.  The blood vessels dilate, and all these efforts consume a lot of energy, without you even realising it.  Hence reactions can be extreme when immersed in water that, even at 25 ° C, is significantly lower than body temperature. The vessels contract suddenly, the heart is disturbed, the coping mechanisms are overwhelmed. This gives a loss of energy, and even loss of consciousness. We can drown a metre from the shore, in 30 cm of water.”

The advice is to wet your neck and gradually enter the water, to avoid a sudden shock.

In addition to these risks, firefighters call on bathers to be particularly on the look out for areas where swimming is not allowed.   “Look out for the flags, and also don’t forget the dangers of swimming pools at campsites or holiday villas.  Small children can easily drown in the pool of the rental villa or campsite, as was the case in Mialet (Gard) at the end of June.  It’s absolutely necessary for an adult to constantly monitor children, especially when they can not swim,” insisted Christian Poirel.

Finally, if you are diving into water, make sure that there are no dangers, and that it is sufficiently deep.  Every year people die from diving accidents in Occitanie.

Source: Midi Libre