Monday, March 1

Seventeen years after the sinking of the Bugaled Breizh, the investigation will resume

Gendarmes in front of the wreck of the Bugaled Breizh, a Breton trawler sunk off the English coast in 2004. – Maisonneuve / SIPA

  • The investigation of the English justice around the sinking of the Bugaled Breizh will be relaunched.
  • A new hearing will take place on March 12, allowing the different parties to provide new documents, seventeen years after the mysterious sinking of the trawler based in Loctudy (Finistère).
  • Five sailors died during the sinking, the reasons for which are still not explained. Strong suspicions weigh on the presence of submarines in exercise.

The tragedy dates back to January 15, 2004. Seventeen years after the mysterious sinking of the Bugaled Breizh off Lizard Point, in the far south-west of England, the families of the five missing sailors still have no elements of answer on the reasons of this tragic shipwreck. While heavy suspicions weigh on submarines in exercise in the area, the French justice had made a dismissal confirmed by the court of cassation in 2016. Since then, the last hopes of the families rest on the shoulders of the English justice . The bodies of two of the five sailors from Loctudy (Finistère) had been found in English waters, allowing the British to investigate this mysterious tragedy. As
revealed it The Telegram, A new hearing is to be held on March 12 as part of this procedure.

This hearing, which will be held by videoconference will not be “a final hearing but a submission of conclusions”, specifies the lawyer of relatives of victims Dominique Tricaud. It is held within the framework of the investigation for “search for the causes of death”. In 2016, the French justice had extinguished its legal action by pronouncing a dismissal, leaving the families without answer. Was it a fishing accident? Few connoisseurs of the file believe it. Or was the Bugaled Breizh lured to the bottom by a submarine which hooked one of its nets? This hypothesis, reinforced by the sudden sinking estimated at 37 seconds, comes up against the difficulty of the secrecy of defense of several countries.

Suspicions about an English submarine

The United States has always denied being involved in this accident, as has France. The most advanced suspicions weigh on the presence of an English submarine. A few years ago, a French officer had delivered disturbing revelations, explaining that his aircraft had to perform maneuvers with an English submarine but that the exercise had been canceled at the last moment “due to damage”.

Years after the accident, a witness claimed that the captain of the “Turbulent” had admitted to having hooked the trawler. The officer contested, arguing that his submarine had remained docked that day. What several declassified documents seem to contradict. “We must not let go and continue to fight,” said Michel Launay, president of the SOS Bugaled Breizh association, saying he was convinced “that we will be able to obtain the truth”. Yves Gloaguen, Georges Lemétayer, Pascal Le Floch, Patrick Gloaguen and Eric Guillamet were between 34 and 59 years old when they lost their lives aboard the Bugaled Breizh (children of Brittany in Breton).

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