Beach: what is a baïne and how to get out of it?


Jellyfish, drownings, hydrocutions… A beach vacation is not without its dangers. Among the lesser known ailments, baïnes: these phenomena correspond, in geomorphology, to a kind of natural pool formed in the zone of breaking waves, at the edge of the beach. More concretely, when you have your feet in the water, it looks like a series of regular cavities… Which can be daunting for swimmers.

This Saturday August 20, 2022, 18 people were swept away by the current on the Grande Plage in Biarritz (Pyrénées-Atlantiques), as evidenced by franceinfo. If all the holidaymakers were able to be rescued, it was not without fear: some were taken more than 800 meters from the mainland, without the possibility of swimming back to the beach.

In the columns of the media, Patxi Laborde, lifeguard, explains the procedure to follow when one is caught in the current of a baïne. “You must not fight against the current and absolutely return to the edge. You must try to get out of this bath by swimming sideways, find yourself at the place where you are walking and be brought back by the waves”, advises the professional.