A coroner’s inquiry into the mysterious sinking of a French fishing trawler 17 years ago began in London on Monday, with the affected families blaming a submarine.
French courts spent years investigating the sinking. Bugled Breeze. On 15 January 2004, in the international waters of Cornwall, southwest England.
But what happened is never fully explained.
Five French crew members – Yves Gloguin, Pascal Le Fluch, Georges Lemitier, Patrick Gloguin, and Eric Gilamet – all drowned.
Judge Nigel Leakey will investigate the deaths of Yuz Gloguin and Lee Fluch, whose bodies were found by British search and rescue.
Over the course of three weeks, the judge will hear the statements of about 40 witnesses from ships, rescue workers, naval experts, submarine commanders and affected families.
Sudden or unknown deaths are investigated in England and Wales.
Hearing establishes reasons and circumstances on the balance of possibilities. They do not determine criminal or civil liability, but state the facts in the public interest.
In particularly sensitive or important cases, a judge may be appointed to oversee the proceedings.
Affected families have insisted from the beginning that either the British or the United States. Submarine Trapped in the boat’s net and dragged down.
British and NATO submarines were in the area for military exercises at the time.
Working outside the Finistere area of northwestern France, Bugaled Breizh – the “children of Britney” in the local Breton language – drowned in less than a minute.
The weather was good at that time.
Patrick Gloguin’s body was found in the wreckage during the rescue operation, but the bodies of Limiter and Gilamate were never found.
The men’s families are awaiting a lengthy hearing in the UK, which they hope will confirm their version of events, following a lengthy trial in France.
“This gives us great hope. A London court is devoting three weeks to the case,” lawyer Dominic Trekad, who represents Lemitaire’s children, told AFP.
“It will get to the bottom of things and the family, who have never given up, have never had such high hopes.”
“The family believes the (British submarine) HMS Turbulent was responsible for the sinking and is awaiting trial to prove it.”
“They are not out to seek revenge, but the state cannot mourn the lie.”
‘Complete and fair’ investigation.
Capt. Andrew Coles, former commander of the HMS Turbulent, will give evidence to the Inquiry about the location of the ship on October 12, the day the Bugled Breeze went down.
A senior officer from the Dutch Navy’s Dolphin submarine, who was in the area at the time as part of a NATO training exercise, will also provide evidence.
Both the British Ministry of Defense and the Royal Navy have denied claims that one of its submarines was involved in the sinking.
In 2006, the French Marine Accident Bureau concluded that the sinking was an accident, probably due to one of the boat’s trawler net cables being snatched from the seabed.
Other scenarios, such as a collision with a freighter, have been rejected.
The French investigation ended after an appeal in June 2016, when it failed to prove conclusively whether the trailer sank in a maritime accident or the submarine collided with one of its cables.
The inquest into the deaths of Yves Gloaguen and Pascal Le Floch began in Cornwall in 2020 but was postponed due to restrictions and moved to London.
At the March hearing, Judge Leakley spoke to the fishermen’s families via video link, promising a “complete, rigorous and fair investigation.”
Leckley also said the investigation was told by the Department of Defense that there were no non-aligned submarines at the time of the sinking.