Earlier this month the Celtic League provided information to a Cornish activist working to support families of the Bugaled Breizh which sank suddenly off the Lizard in January 2004.
A NATO exercise was underway at the time and with a large concentration of submarines in the area or on transit to it (not to mention potential Russian Federation submarines gathering intelligence and observing the exercise). Families of those lost have always had an open mind about the possibility the vessel was snagged by a submarine and sunk.
The Celtic League built up a comprehensive portfolio over thirty five years of suspicious sinking’s and disappearances and also accidents in which submarine activity was conclusively proven.
Campaigners for the families want answers and there have been calls for the scope of the inquest being conducted by Emma Carlyon Coroner for Cornwall to be extended with better resources and given a wider remit.
For her part the Coroner has promised her enquiry will be thorough and this is a reassurance to the family who have been shamefully let down by the French authorities whose enquiry seems to have been a whitewash.
Celtic League has long believed that there should be a more wide ranging enquiry into a number of suspicious sinking’s in which fishing vessels inexplicably sank or simply disappeared often in good weather and without getting out a full ‘mayday call’.
Notable among these are the Breton Vessels, Cite D’Aleth (off Wexford) and La Jonque (off Brittany) and the Scottish and Welsh vessels, Mhari L and South Stack (approx 18miles SE of the Isle of Man)
On Thursday 26th August 1994 Mark Kermode Assistant General Secretary of the Celtic League sailed to an area South of the Isle of Man and in a submarine exercise area where a number of incidents had occurred he laid a wreath with the names of twenty vessels the Celtic League believe had been lost in suspicious circumstances (report and photographs at Page 23 of CARN 87 at this link):
The Bugaled Breizh is scheduled to reconvene in July in the meantime the Coroner has asked the Ministry of Defence for further information and fixed a May deadline for this to be furnished.
Speaking for the families of the lost crewmen Thierry Lemétayer, son of the trawlers engineer, said they had been bitterly disappointed at the way the French system had treated them but they had confidence in the Coroner of Cornwall to seek answers
“I have no doubt the coroner wants to do the job. It’s going to be hard and we want to have all the documents we need to do the job. That is all I ask.”
Celtic League sincerely hope they will get the answers they seek and this case will cast a spotlight once again on the many other tragedies.
Issued by: The Manx branch of the Celtic League
TEL: 01624 877918 or 07624 491609
THE CELTIC LEAGUE
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: