Cold bathing craze leads to teen death

The Local Norway
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Cold bathing craze leads to teen death
Two participants of the social media game "a l'eau ou resto" (to the water or the restaurant). Photo: YouTube

The social media cold-bathing craze that swept Norway in April ended in tragedy this week after a 19-year-old died after playing the "stupid and tragic game" in Brittany, France.


The 'Jump in the Sea Challenge' or 'hopp i havet utfordring', which was brought to Norway from the Faroe Islands at the end of April,  emerged in France at the end of May, our colleagues at The Local France report. 
“A l’eau ou au resto”, or "into the water or into the restaurant", as the French renamed it, took off from around 29 May, spreading like wildfire through Facebook and Instagram. 
As in the Norwegian version, victims must take on the dare within 48 hours or face a forfeit, with the penalty perhaps predictably changing in France from alcoholic drinks to a slap-up meal. 
The game has seen youths throwing themselves into the sea in ports like Dunkirk and Calais in recent weeks.  The tragic incident in Brittany is believed to be the first death linked to the game. 
According to reports the teenager tied his bike to his leg so he would not lose it in the river before riding into the water of the Vilaine river near the town of Béganne. “The river was six metres deep and he could not get back to the surface,” police colonel Sylvain Laniel told TV station France 3 Brittany.
After the death in Brittany authorities have issued a warning to young Facebook users about the dangers of taking on the challenge.
“It’s a tragic and stupid game,” said deputy prosecutor Igor Souchu before calling for “restraint and caution” around the new craze.


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