Le Figaro Bordeaux
To accept to love is to accept to suffer and life has reminded this grandfather of this when he least expected it. While admiring the passage of a liner on the shores of Ambès Saturday, May 20, Serge Caravaca, 75, was swept in his wake. "I love boats, it makes me dream. I went to film it and there a wave of 4 to 5 meters arrived on me. " Tossed by the waves, projected more than 10 meters towards the surrounding vineyards, this inhabitant of the town since 1974 has seen his life pass before his eyes. "I said goodbye, then I was mowed down by the feet," he testified more than a week after the fact. When he got up, fortunately conscious, the water was reaching his waist. After painfully returning to his vehicle, he managed to return home, but not without clearing some trunks lying on the road.
I called my girlfriend, she wanted me to contact the fire department but I did not want to go to the emergency room to wait for hours, "recalls the one who will celebrate a new spring next Monday. Bruises, multicolored knee, rib and back pain, displacement of vertebrae, torn skin... His GP, seen on the Monday following the accident, diagnosed him with 15 days of ITT. "It was really bad, fortunately I was the only one on the spot," says the one who filed a complaint against X for endangering the lives of others. As for the couple of Saint-Louis-de-Montferrand whose house was ravaged by this "tsunami", the shock of Serge Caravaca is mainly psychological. "I still dream about it. I woke up again last night at 4 o'clock, I was screaming, "he confides to the Figaro eleven days after his trauma.
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Warned of the approach of his citizen, the new mayor of Ambès accompanies him, without however tormenting himself with the next passages of boats in the town. "It is a false maneuver, a human error that will be rectified, a glitch in 600 boats per year," says Gilbert Dodogaray, stressing that there was "more fear than harm". In the town of 3000 inhabitants, located at the confluence of the Garonne and Dordogne rivers, the other damage, "minor", mainly concerned signage.
The event was taken to the extent of its seriousness by the Grand Port Maritime de Bordeaux. Several meetings with the mayors whose cities were hit by the passage of the Sea Splendor were organized. "We are not in charge of controlling the speed (of the boats, editor's note), but we have set up an additional vigilance system to be able to alert according to the factors (tide, winds, etc.) those that exceed ten knots," explains Renaud Picard, deputy director of the Grand Port Maritime de Bordeaux.
Published last Tuesday, the preliminary report of the institution blames the pilot of the 225-meter long liner for the accident. It was moving too fast. An unfortunate behavior recognized by the profession. "The president of the pilots' union called me to apologize," reveals Serge Caravaca, touched by this approach. With regard to damages, on the other hand, the ongoing investigation and the courts will have to decide.