Sinking of the Bugaled Breizh: British justice concludes a “fishing accident”

the essential 17 years ago, the Bugaled Breizh, a French trawler, was wrecked off the coast of Cornwall ( southwest of England), killing five people. This Friday, British justice ruled and called the disaster a “fishing accident”.

British justice agreed this Friday, November 5 to the thesis of the fishing accident to explain the sinking of the French trawler Bugaled Breizh, which left five dead in 2004 , rejecting the submarine thesis defended by the families of the victims. Five years after the final dismissal in France, relatives of the victims hoped that the three weeks of hearings held in October at the High Court in London would reveal new elements likely to relaunch the investigation.

But while French justice could not decide between the hypothesis of a submarine and that of a fishing accident, Judge Nigel Lickley was more categorical and showered their hopes: the trawler has ” sunk due to a fishing accident “, he ruled in rendering his conclusions, adding that no other vessel was nearby. The Breton boat sank very quickly on 15 January 2004 off Cornwall (southwest from England) where he fished in fairly good weather conditions. The five sailors who were on board had been swept away by the bottom.

“I capsize, come quickly!”, Launched that day the boss of Bugaled Breizh (“Children of Brittany” in Breton) Yves Gloaguen, in a distress call to one of his colleagues at midday. On board the trawler, were five experienced sailors, “riding on safety”, according to their relatives. Of the five victims, only the bodies of Patrick Gloaguen, Yves Gloaguen and Pascal Le Floch were found – the first in the wreckage during its refloating, the other two in British waters. The British proceedings focused on the deaths of the latter two. Georges Lemétayer and Eric Guillamet were reported missing at sea.

Military exercises

Despite the hopes of the families of the victims, the hypothesis of the collision with a military submarine has moved away over the hearings in London, in favor of that defended by an expert of a fishing accident in which a piece of equipment of the vessel would have gripped the bottom. The presence of three submarines (the Dutch Dolfijn, the German U 17 and the British Torbay) was certified in the area, where exercises were being prepared. military. But the suspicions of the families are on another submarine, the British Turbulent.

Before the High Court, the Dutch Navy and the Royal Navy ruled out any involvement, the first claiming that the Dolfijn was sailing on the surface when the accident occurred, the second that the Turbulent was not at sea on the day of the sinking. “We weren’t involved at all. We were docked” at Devonport (South West England) “on 15” January, in affirmed, in a much awaited testimony, the then commander of the British submarine, Andrew Coles.

As for the hypothesis of the presence of an unidentified Allied submarine in the exercise area, it was deemed “unthinkable” by Commander Daniel Simmonds, an underwater operations manager for the Royal Navy. When the track of a US Navy submarine was mentioned in 2016, the United States had refuted it.

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