A reminder to naturists around the world: There are people who would shoot us for being naked on a beach.
It happened recently on a beach in Corsica. A man upset with the nudity he was seeing on an unofficial clothing-optional beach opened fire, wounding one female naturist, according to reports.
Apparently, the woman was not seriously injured, the Telegraph is reporting, though I would think the writer is underestimating the psychological trauma and its potential long-term effects on the victim — as well as any suffering she must now endure because of the actual gunshot wound.
It is unclear whether the shooter used bullets or pellets, but he has certainly made his point: social nudity offends him to the point of violence.
You know there are others like him who will resort to violence, whether in the name of some imaginary deity or not. And now that the incident in Corsica is getting attention on media sites around the world, it is not unreasonable to think other nutcases could be inspired to follow suit or do something even worse.
It’s a reminder that social nudists face persecution everywhere.
So keep it in mind.
Photo: Corsica. Credit: Patrick Nouhailler/Wikimedia Commons
I can’t say I’ve ever seen anyone shoot at naturists here in Nova Scotia, but a couple years back, a group of us were relaxing on the shore of a secluded lake near Halifax. We had used the site before, but on this one day it apparently was not secluded enough. At one point, one of our group said she had seen a woman further down the shore who had clearly seen us, then turned and disappeared. All, apparently, in a matter of seconds, since I didn’t see her myself. An hour later, one of our group had just gotten dressed and was heading back to this car, when he shouted back to us, “Police coming!” We quickly got dressed, and were completely covered up when an R.C.M.P. officer met us on the shore, quietly advising us to stay dressed. From his attitude, we could tell he didn’t really care one way or the other, and was only there because a complaint had been raised against us. When we got back to our cars, we saw that there was another officer–a woman–who hadn’t even bothered to get out of their car.
So, no violence, and no arrests. But if that woman who saw us happened to have a gun, what would she have done. Okay, I doubt she was that bad. But I’m still confused about how exactly we were causing a problem!
Sad to read this the same day that a neo-Nazi killed a woman in Charlottsville, VA. 😦
Thanks for writing on this topic. I believe that there is a lot more that is going on here that hasn’t been reported on in the Telegraph and BBC website stories, but I haven’t been able to uncover much else from media reports.
I was in Corsica for four weeks in September, a few years ago and camped at La Chiappa, the large (but rustic) naturist resort which is depicted in the photograph above your story. The beach where the shooting took place is called Carataggio, which is an isolated beach outside of La Chiappa in a beautiful cove in a nature reserve/forest that is a forty-five minute walk along a rocky path from the campground portion of La Chiappa (45 minutes away from the left hand side of the photo). I walked from the resort to Carataggio Beach most days I was there. Each day there were about 50 to 100 people who used the nude section of the beach at its east end and about a dozen people who wore swimsuits at the west end of the beach. The weather is beautiful in September, but this is not a busy tourist season. La Chiappa closes each year in early October and re-opens in mid-May.
As I said before, the beach is in a nature reserve. There is an official, government sign at the beach indicating that is a nature reserve and not to light fires, but there is nothing else — no buildings, no electricity, no running water, no parking lot. The only way in is to hike in from the west or the east of the beach along a rocky path or to come in by boat. It is misleading for the Telegraph to call this a “not officially a nudist beach”. It is a primarily a nudist beach that most users walk (or boat) to carrying a towel, water and nothing else other than the hat and shoes that they are wearing. I was there in September, but in August, I would imagine that there are hundreds of nudists packing this beach. The resort has a large campground, about a hundred cabins/cottages, several restaurants, pools, a scuba school, two large beaches, sailboats, kayaks, tennis courts, horseback riding, etc.
I read a couple of reports in the local newspaper, Corse-matin, which indicated that the shooter was the boss of a beach bar who demanded that the nudists either get dressed or leave. After the nudists told him to leave them alone, he fired a shot and hit an Italian tourist in her buttocks. The story said that she was in her thirties and not seriously wounded. An official inquiry into the incident has been started in the capital, Ajaccio, but there were no further details provided. The shooting took place last Wednesday, and the in inquiry was announced in a subsequent story a couple of days later.
The beach has no electricity or running water. When I was there, there was no beach bar. It may be that this is a new business or it is simply someone who brings in a few chairs and coolers-full of drinks by boat each morning and sets up a pirate-style operation during the peak tourist season. The nudists that come in from La Chiappa would have no need for this guy — they simply bring their own from the resort (which has a grocery store, and all the cabins have a fridge), and the boaters who anchor in the cove off the beach simply swim back to their boats for supplies. The boss of the beach bar may have believed that scaring away the nudists will leave more room for the non-nudists (who may be better customers) on the crowded beach at this time of year. I am not sure how far the non-nudists have to walk to get to the beach from the west side of the beach, but I believe it is pretty far, and there is no parking lot at the end of the trail, so they have to walk to the trail-head too. There are other, better-serviced textile beaches with parking lots and full-service, sit-down restaurants along the coast west of Carataggio Beach.
Shooting people to scare them away, even if they are perceived as bad customers, may attract unwanted attention here, but Corsica is a bit different. Organized crime is quite strong in Corsica. Bars get bombed at four am (after customers have left, so no-one is hurt). Business people may have to pay gangsters for “protection”, and a new rival faction may have appeared. As the local media reports indicate, the inquiry is being run from the capital, not locally.
I think there is a lot more to the story.