• May 22, 2016

The French courts have dealt another blow to attempts by the family members of those lost on the Breton trawler Bugaled Breizh to get justice in France.

Eleven years of efforts to get some closure and explanation via the French system came to an end when the Appeal Court in Rennes rejected an application.

The Bugaled Breizh sank off the Lizard in Jan 2004 during the conduct of a major NATO maritime exercise. Several submarines from a variety of NATO countries including France were involved in the exercise it’s also widely believed that additional submarines from the Russian Federation will have been observing the exercise clandestinely – this is a common occurrence.

When the wreck of the Bugaled Breizh was raised traces of titanium were found on one of the cables this indicated possible contact with a submersible although French accident inspectors discounted this.

Families however strongly believe that the involvement of a submarine is highly likely as the well maintained and equipped vessel, manned by a very experienced crew must have been overwhelmed suddenly and weather conditions at the time were not adverse.

The families’ only hope now is that an inquest underway in Cornwall may turn up enough evidence to once again force the French authorities to review the matter.

It is not just in the case of the Bugaled Breizh that French officialdom has shown indifference over thirty years ago the loss of the trawler Cite Daleth with 10 men off Wexford was also the subject of cursory inquiry and despite the efforts of family members over many years no answers were ever forthcoming.

The Cite Daleth sank in an area known as ‘submarine alley’ where ballistic missile submarines SSBNs and there attendant SSNs deployed from the bases on the Clyde to the Atlantic via the Bay of Biscay.

Celtic League has always supported efforts by families of fishermen lost in such tragedies to get answers and we will continue our efforts for the families of the lost Bugaled Breizh crewmen.

Related links Bugaled Breizh:


Related links Cite Daleth:


Image: Thierry Lemetayer son of one of the missing crewmen of the Bugaled Breizh and a tireless campaigner for justice described the French court ruling as an ‘insult’!


Issued by: The Manx branch of the Celtic League

TEL: 01624 877918 or 07624 491609



The Celtic League established in 1961 has branches in the six Celtic Countries including our own Mannin branch. It promotes cooperation between the countries and campaigns on a range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, military activity and socio-economic issues

The link for the main web pages is below:


Mannin Branch Celtic League's photo.
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