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French clear English Channel over crocodile fears

Swimmers were warned to stay out of the English Channel after French officials took seriously a claim that a crocodile had been spotted.

The water off Boulogne-sur-Mer was cleared yesterday while a search was carried out.

A spokesman for Boulogne-sur-Mer town hall said it was now thought the claim was “a joke”.

“There was an alert for the swimmers and people who are on holiday but there was nothing in the sea,” he said.

“The beach wasn't closed, only the sea.”

The claim of a sighting was made in a message to local newspaper La Voix du Nord. It said an animal rescue charity, which had not been told directly of any sightings, asked for the water to be cleared while a search took place.

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