A father and his two young daughters were swept into the sea by a large wave while out walking along the coast in Marseille on Saturday evening.
The younger daughter, age 4, died overnight in hospital while her 8-year-old older sister has yet to be found. The father, 43, was rescued from the water by a fisherman, the local press reported. Two specialised rescue boats and a helicopter took part in a search for the missing girl, but the mission was abandoned at 9:30 pm.
Waves of 2.5 metres were crashing against the coast at the time of the tragedy and the water temperature was 12 degrees. Eleven French Departments were placed on orange alert on Saturday morning, including the city of Marseille. Local authorities routinely issue alerts and advise residents not to use coastal paths during stormy weather.