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French police warn youth against Facebook dare after 1 dies, another injured for life

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PARIS - French police are warning young people about the dangers of a dare spreading on Facebook that has left a young man dead and another severely injured.

Police confirmed on Friday that a 19-year-old drowned a day earlier after riding his bicycle into a port in Beganne in western Brittany while a friend filmed him. Another youth was injured for life after diving headfirst into shallow water near Calais.

The challenge called "A l'eau ou au resto" (Into the water or to the restaurant), dares friends to jump fully clothed into water and film it — or buy dinner at a restaurant.

Col. Sylvain Laniel of the Gendarmerie said on the iTeli TV station that the young bike rider had his ankle attached to the bike.

"Don't be influenced by a stupid phenomenon of the moment," national police warned on Facebook.

Police counselled young people to "show friends you are more intelligent than that" by refusing the dare, and added that videos of such pranks might one day compromise job applications.

In February, officials in Britain said several deaths had been linked to "neknominate," an online dare to drink in excess.

In the United States, several people have been injured participating in a Cold Water Challenge on Facebook. The dare is to jump into cold water, or give money to a designated charity.

Casualties have included a 16-year-old girl in Wisconsin who suffered knee ligament damage, and a student in Illinois who fractured an ankle.

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