French Brittany Closes Its Beaches After Lethal Algae Attack

Victor Westerkamp
By Victor Westerkamp
September 9, 2019Internationalshare
French Brittany Closes Its Beaches After Lethal Algae Attack
Activists protest against toxic seaweeds, in front of the Vallais beach covered with toxic green algae, in Saint-Brieuc, northwestern France, on July 25, 2019. (Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images)

French authorities have closed down six beaches in Brittany after at least three people, a horse, and dozens of mammals died while trapped in toxic seaside swamps.

The bay of Saint-Brieuc in northwestern France has experienced its highest amount of algae in decades on its beaches.

NTD Photo
Andre Ollivro, co-president of the association “Halte aux Marees Vertes” poses in front of the Grandville beach covered with toxic green algae, in Hillion, near Saint-Brieuc, northwestern France, on July 10, 2019. (Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images)

Tons of algae had washed up on the beaches of the Saint-Brieuc bay in France’s northwestern Brittany and stayed rotting in the sun. The upper crust concealed deadly hydrogen sulfide gasses just under the surface of the algae.

“These areas are like a mille-feuille that decomposes and turns into a minefield. Take one step, nothing happens. Take another, and you end up with 1,000 ppm,” says 74-year-old veteran activist and retired gas technician André Ollivro. He always carries a gas mask with him when he explores the Saint-Brieuc beaches.

NTD Photo
A woman looks at bungalows forbidden because of toxic seaweeds/green algae on the Vallais beach, near Saint-Brieuc, northwestern France, on July 10, 2019. (Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images)

Angry environmentalists blame the intensive cattle breeding in the area for the explosive algae growths which nourish on the enormous amount of nitrates produced as waste materials by the industry.

“There has been a wall of silence for several decades,” said Inès Léraud, author of the bestselling comic book about the slime, “Green Algae: The Untold Story.”

“Around 20 people die on the coast each year, often swept away with tides or currents, but the question is: could some of those people have fainted from toxic gas from seaweed before being swept out? The state has not shed full light on all these issues,” He warned. “It could kill you in seconds.”

The toxic effects of deadly algae is nothing new, but remains an unsuspecting danger to humans and animals, as reported by Epoch Times in June.

Dog Owner Warns Others After Blue-Green Algae Kills His 9-Month-Old Puppy

Bereft Scotsman David O’Connor has put out a serious and heartfelt warning to fellow dog owners after losing his beautiful springer spaniel, Bell. O’Connor lost his 9-month-old pup quickly after she was exposed to a deadly and completely unexpected predator. Blue-green algae.

Bell was doing what all excited puppies from Dingwall in the Highlands do; gleefully playing by the River Conon. The water level was low and the banks were dry. She was seduced by the unusual blue-green color of the algae and licked it, but it turned out to be fatal.

Despite fervent attempts to save her at the family’s veterinarian, Bell died within 30 minutes of consuming the killer algae. The algae usually grows in the stagnant water of lochs and reservoirs, but unseasonably high temperatures in the summer of 2018 caused the level of water in the River Conon to decrease. Algae collected and coated the banks.

O’Connor quickly posted a caution to other dog owners on Facebook.

“Warning to all dog owners,” he wrote beside a picture of his spaniel, gone way before her time. “We lost our pup today after she ate some blue-green algae at the River Conon.

“We took her round to the vets within five minutes,” O’Connor continued, “and then she died. The whole episode from start to finish took about 30 minutes.”

Epoch Times reporter Louise Bevan contributed to this report

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