The beaches of the Côte Landes Nature,

a wild beach in complete safety!
© Sophie Pawlak

Sandrine explains everything!

A native of the Landes, Sandrine Berthe has been world champion in coastal rescue in her category since 2017.
She monitors and ensures the safety of bathers on one of our beaches in the Côte Landes Nature holiday destination.

Here the rollers are invigorating and the currents are often strong! What are the rules to follow to make the most of the ocean? How can it be enjoyed safely?

27 kilometres de plages en Côte Landes NatureCôte Landes Nature, c'est 5 plages surveillées donnant sur l'océan atlantique
Safe swimming tips
shore breaknot just a surfer's expression
June 15 to September 15 Supervised beaches

Understanding the Atlantic Ocean

“In the Landes, the sea can be rough. You may be tempted to give the waves a miss and take a dip in one of the large natural “swimming pools” the tide cuts in the sand, which we call baïnes. This is not a good idea! With the rising tide, a strong current can carry you out to sea from there. It is much preferable to swim during the ebb tide especially with small children, for more safety. ”

“Always swim between the two blue flags on either side of the area monitored by lifeguards. ”

“If the current carries you offshore, there is no point fighting, you have to let yourself be carried by the current towards the waves and then return with the waves.”

“Hydrate yourself as much as possible, protect yourself from the sun, with a cap, lycra, hat, parasol (especially for children), as sunstroke is common when people don’t prepare. ”

“Watch out for stonefish, which love the warm water in the baïnes and are half buried in the sand. They have a poisonous sting which can cause severe pain. If you do get stang off a fish, don’t put cold water on it – it’s more soothing to walk in the hot sand. Ask for help at the first aid station.”

*What is a baine?

At low tide along the sandy coasts, ponds can be seen scattered around the beach. These natural tidal pools have calm, warm and shallow waters, which attract bathers. However, when the tide turns, waves fill these “baines” and in just a few moments, the water becomes much deeper and troubled. It then rushes out quite violently through drainage channels, creating particularly dangerous currents. The speed and the force of these currents is too strong for even experienced swimmers, and can pull bathers out to sea. The natural reflex to fight against the current causes rapid fatigue and panic, and is doomed to failure. It is best to allow yourself to go, then let the waves carry you back.

Coastal rescue, a learning sport

If you want to participate in a coastal rescue lesson, get in touch with the beach rescuers at Cap de l’Homy for more information. Sandrine teaches afternoon lessons to all ages from 6 upwards – you just have to know how to swim.

What is a shore break?

Another dangerous phenomenon is the wave that breaks, sometimes very suddenly, in very shallow water. The surge can knock you clean over and cause serious accidents, even spinal cord damage.

The most common victims of a shore break are bathers unaccustomed to the ocean, and inexperienced surfers thrown onto sand as hard as stone.

Our lifeguards are ready to welcome you to the beaches of Côte Landes Nature between June 15 and September 15 each year. They will take care of you, whatever your problem. Their job requires a lot of effort and attention, so if you want to thank them or simply make them happy, bring a cake – they love cake!

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