CANNES, France, May 11 (Reuters) - A group of surfers took to the sea off the French city of Cannes on Monday to ride the waves, but were chased off by police enforcing the COVID-19 lockdown.
Though France on Monday began tentatively easing its movement restrictions, the beaches at Cannes in southern France remain off limits by order of the local government.
Impatient to catch some waves, about a dozen surfers ignored the ban and went into the water. A police launch spotted them and headed towards the surfers, siren sounding. The surfers left the water and headed off the beach.
“We surfed for three or four hours, but then four police officers came and made us get out of the water,” said one of the surfers, who gave his name as Nicolas, after retreating to the promenade overlooking the beach.
However, some of the surfers were back in the water a short while after. To circumvent the ban on using the beaches, they clambered along a rocky outcrop and launched themselves into the water from there.
“It’s almost worth the 135 euro fine,” said another surfer as he came out of the water, referring to the penalty French police can levy for violations of the lockdown rules. (Reporting by Michel Bernouin, Writing by Christian Lowe; Editing by Janet Lawrence)