The water channel situated near Flat Island, commonly known as, “La Mer des Charpentiers”, is notorious for the unfortunate deaths that happened there. On Saturday 14th of March, a French tourist, Josiane Guibert, lost her life there after she fell from the trimaran Babacool into the water. She did not know how to swim and was thus taken in by the waters as the other tourists watched helplessly. Others have met the same fate in the past.
The dangerous channel
The channel is situated between two reefs. It is described as being narrow, around 9 meters in width.
Officers of the National Coast Guard (NCG) have explained that when it is obstructed, outings beyond the lagoon are perilous. Under these circumstances, skippers and fishermen are informed of the danger and they make their way back to safety.
As for the NCG team, it has a boat equipped with a powerful engine, but even then, they avoid the channel when it is obstructed.
An officer of the NCG also added that some skippers sometimes ignore the advice.
According to l’Express, a skipper with 23 years of experience, Christian Bon, affirmed that the NCG does inform the skippers of the danger, but that ultimately it is up to them to decide whether they will take the risk or not.
The tourist Josiane Guibert is said to have been victim of a heavy swell that consists of three waves. Skippers described the first of them as being relatively weak, while the latter two are more powerful. Fishermen attest that they wait for the three waves to pass before going by the channel.