The Cote d’Azur is happily free of sharks but does get occasional visits from jellyfish, usually the pelagia noctiluca, a fairly small and clearly visible creature that generally travels in swarms. The sting is painful but not deadly. These purple blobbies swarm every few years but scientists have failed to find a definitive explanation of why they suddenly appear.
French pharmacies sell a sun cream cream called Medusyl which prevents jellyfish stings by not allowing the tentacles to attach.
What to Do if Stung
If you’re stung, either tough it out, deal with it yourself or head to the nearest lifeguard/first aid station where they should be equipped with an antidote.
An effective treatment is to soak the area in salt water and then rub with sand to remove the stingers. If you have access to hot water soak the area in very hot water. Don’t try the urine cure, it doesn’t work, nor does washing the stings off in fresh water.
Gazagnaire, Macé and Plages du Midi beaches place anti-stinger barrier nets during the summer months.
Water quality in Cannes is excellent. Samples are taken regularly throughout the summer months and analysed for contamination. Results are then posted at the entrance to all beaches and on the city website. The only exception to the generally pristine waters is the region east from Porto Canto (e. g. Bijou Beach) to Mouré Rouge which on rare occasions experiences slightly elevated pollution levels from exposure to boats in neighbouring Porto Canto.