French Riviera beaches closed to swimming after shark sighting

According to The Sydney Morning Herald a swimming ban has been imposed at beaches on the Riviera by French officials, after multiple witnesses reported seeing a 2m shark. The swimming ban applies to beaches at Cagnes-sur-Mer, Villeneuve-Loubet and Saint-Laurent-du-Var.

The head of public safety for the town of Cagnes-sur-Mer, Michel Gagnaire, said that the shark was spotted approximately 70m from shore. Gagnaire went on to speculate that the shark might be “disoriented due to illness or a wound and therefore more likely to attack swimmers.”

According to the International Shark Attack File, there have only been four unprovoked shark attacks recorded in French waters, since 1847. The Sydney Morning Herald report notes that last July a French Mediterranean beach was closed after a “shark” was reportedly sighted. Authorities later discovered that the animal sighted was actually a Mola mola (also known as an ocean sunfish).

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