Marseille defends beach safety after weekend closures

Marseille defends beach safety after weekend closures

Authorities in Marseille have insisted that beach closures at the weekend were due to high water-safety standards, following complaints from holidaymakers.

Plage Borély, Plage de l’Huveaune and Plage de Bonneveine were closed on Sunday when pollution tests found the water was unsafe.

“There are things floating”

It was the latest in a series of beach closures since the start of the summer. Athletes taking part in the Marseille triathlon on July 21 had complained that the water in which they swam was dirty.

One holidaymaker told FranceInfo: “The water is hot, but we don’t really want to get into it. There are things floating.”

Another demanded more explanation from authorities, after seeing the red no-swimming flags, saying that no further information was available.

But the Marseille mayor’s office said the closures were in place because the seawater is rigorously and regularly tested, and beaches were closed if safety standards were not reached.

In response to the complaints, the city’s deputy mayor Didier Réault said: “Last year, our beaches were 94 percent open throughout the summer, compared to 91 percent in the southwest.”

Tourists and residents were warned not to swim in the sea if a beach is closed – indicated when a red flag is flying. Anyone who ignores the warning risks a fine of €38.

Source: The Connexion