July 21, 2024

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Condemnation of a French state for a boat drama that killed two Dutch brothers (11 and 18 years old) |  Abroad

Condemnation of a French state for a boat drama that killed two Dutch brothers (11 and 18 years old) | Abroad

More than seven years after seeing his sons drown before his eyes during a canoe trip in the south of France, Franck Broussard has obtained justice. The Lyon court ordered the French state to pay compensation to the Dutchman on Friday.

France must pay the man 156,000 euros. “Moral compensation is very high,” the father’s lawyer told Algemeen Dagblad (AD). He held the French Ministry of the Environment responsible for the death of the two brothers in September 2015, due to the lack of warning signs on the Ardèche River. The court denied responsibility because it believed the teens themselves were responsible. The court of appeals reversed that ruling on Friday, the lawyer said, ruling that the only reason for the dramatic incident was the lack of signs.

According to him, the story behind the fateful boat trip is “so exciting” that he reported it to the media at the request of Frank Broussard. The Dutchman left in September 2015 with his sons Peter (18) and Paul (11) for a short holiday in Ardèche. Explaining the fundraiser for the appeal, the father wrote, “Just take a break and catch your breath.”

death of the mother

Four months ago, Frank’s ex-wife, mother of Peter and Paul, died of colon cancer at the age of fifty. “This happened during Peter’s final exams. As a result, he was unable to complete his exams and stopped during the summer holidays to take re-examinations in August of that year. He passed this and we were very proud!” Southern France.

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Since Peter wanted to go kayaking, they headed from their vacation home to a boat rental company in the Romes area on Sunday, September 20, 2015. They disembarked around 12:30 PM. “Peter is out front in the single dinghy and Paul and I are in the two-person dinghy, all three of us with them Life jackets In.” They thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful canyon walls and gentle rapids. After about an hour and a half, they stopped at the beach for lunch and a few pictures. After lunch, Peter and Paul continued together in the two-person canoe.

Canoe lane

More rapids follow, after which the river widens. The water flowed slowly and the three Dutchmen rowed “steadily”. At about three o’clock in the evening, they saw the bridge at Roms looming on the horizon and the father and his sons realized that the end of their journey was drawing near. “We were told to take the canoe lane on the right bank after the bridge,” Broussard later wrote. Before the bridge, he argued with his eldest son that they should stay right and watch out for an alleged slip. As the calm water seemed to extend far away, the three stopped paddling and drifted slowly downstream and surveyed the right bank.

Then suddenly things went really fast. Broussard continues: “Suddenly the right bank made an angle of 90 degrees and a part of the bank that was previously hidden from us became visible.” The moment he wants to say that he thinks he sees a tree stump lying in the water, where the entrance to the canoe’s lane could be, things go wrong. “I hear Paul screaming, and I no longer see the boat with him and Peter.”

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It will be shown later that the boat with his sons had fallen over a dam in the river. The tree stump he thought he saw was actually a concrete ledge that actually marked the entrance to the canoe lane. Brussaard managed to take this slide. Moments later he found himself on the other side of the dam. He sees that his youngest son is unconscious and his brother is trying to catch him, which was not possible due to the strong current. Trying to help his sons, the father rowed against the stream. But the strong current near the dam capsized his boat. Frank was dragged down and could no longer approach his children.


Peter tried to save his unconscious brother and paid with his life. Paul’s body was found a few hours later, and Peter’s body nine days later

Father Frank Broussard

After about fifteen minutes, his children’s life jackets moved in a different way, as if they had no weight left. “This is wrong, very wrong,” Frank realized. Peter tried to save his brother and paid for it with his life. Explaining the fundraiser, Broussard said: “Paul was found that same evening around 7 p.m., and only nine days later that evening, Peter.”


According to his lawyer, the father and his sons were “misled” on the quiet river, and therefore did not see the dam at a power plant owned by the French state. Brossard has fought since the drama for a better reference to the dangerous place and for someone to take responsibility. “I cannot accept that the deaths of my two sons will be without consequence. This incident in this place which happened to Peter and Paul, and thus to me as well, should never be experienced by a parent again.”

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