Provence & Côte d'Azur: A sailor has died in the Baie des Anges
Deadly wind blows on the Riviera
An amateur sailor met a watery end over the weekend after he got into difficulty just off the coast of the Côte d’Azur airport. Following reports that a boat was adrift near the beach of Saint Laurent, the emergency services mounted a four hour rescue operation to track down the man aboard the vessel.
It remains unclear what actually happened to the 56-year-old family man while he was out at sea but police believe that Thierry Smith may have been struggling to fight against the weekend’s strong winds and currents, and crashed against the rocks.
Weather conditions were far from favourable when the alarm was raised a little after 4pm on Saturday after sun seekers on a nearby beach noticed that an unmanned boat was floating near the airport.
Local emergency services from Nice, Cros de Cagnes and Antibes joined together to help find the missing man but their attempts were futile. For four hours the teams searched for Smith but were only able to locate some debris and an empty life jacket. Eventually, Smith’s floating body was found around 100 metres from where his boat splintered on the rocks surrounding the airport.
A diver was sent in via helicopter to retrieve the man, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
Last week, between 19th and 20th, Monaco decided to close down access to its Larvotto beach amid fears that the waves could become more of a hazard than fun and during the Principality’s high-end luxury car show, Top Marques, pre-planned sea trials were cancelled due to the unpredictable swell out on the Mediterranean.