The Breton fishing vessel sank very quickly off the coast of Cornwall, southwest England, on January 15, 2004, having previously been fishing in good weather conditions. The five people on board were dragged to the bottom of the sea and did not survive the accident. Two of them were not found.
The families of the French victims are convinced that a nearby submarine may have collided with the boat. The investigation revealed that three submarines – German, Dutch and British – were within 100 nautical miles of the ship when it sank. Furthermore, the five people on board were experienced sailors, who would not only sink a ship.
The families have been fighting a legal battle for years. The case was finally dropped in France five years ago, and relatives hoped the three-week hearings before the British High Court would shed light on new elements and breathe new life into the case.
The French court was unable to determine whether the ship was sunk by a submarine or because the ship’s net was stuck to the bottom of the sea. The British judge came to the clear conclusion that the fishing vessel “sank as a result of a fishing accident”. He said that no other ship was involved, not even an underwater ship. It is possible that the net got stuck to the bottom of the sea.
A relative replies: “The judge is based on a single report drawn up by ten French soldiers two years after the facts.” “However, there are also many independent experts who have contradicted the hypothesis that a drag net is stuck on a sandbar.”
According to the lawyer of one of the families, the relatives do not accept the result. “The families’ search for the truth will not stop until the submarine is identified as the culprit,” he said.