Two drown in southern Franceas strong winds lash beaches

18th August 2004, Comments 0 comments

MONTPELLIER, France, Aug 17 (AFP) - Two people drowned and two boys were missing in southern France after powerful winds swept across beaches in the region, emergency services said Tuesday.

MONTPELLIER, France, Aug 17 (AFP) - Two people drowned and two boys were missing in southern France after powerful winds swept across beaches in the region, emergency services said Tuesday.

They said a man drowned in the town of Maugio, 10 kilometres (six miles) east of Montpellier, Tuesday morning before local authorities banned sea bathing along a 40-kilometer stretch of beach in the Herault region.

A 41-year-old mother on holiday with her family later drowned as she was swimming on beach at Marseillan despite the ban, indicated by a red-flag warning.

Rescuers were also searching for two boys, aged 12 and 18, who went as they were swimming on beaches in the region.

"The sea became rough quite quickly... The woman and the two young people went to swim without considering the danger," said an official of the regional rescue service.

He said finding the missing youths would "not be easy, given the state of the sea and with night coming."

Rescuers said the high winds arrived suddenly early in the afternoon, leading to the ban on bathing.

"But we cannot tie people down, and there are still sections of beach that are not under our surveillance," the official said.

© AFP

Subject: French news

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