Bugaled Breizh - New information on submarine activity should open way to new French investigation

The Breton trawler Bugaled Breizh sank on January 15, 2004, off Cape Lizard Cornwall, with the loss of the five crew on board. The loss of the Bugaled Breizh remains unresolved with the Breton sailors having a good knowledge of the area in which they were fishing, the ship having apparently sank very quickly, in good weather conditions, no life-raft was launched, and the distress signal was brief, without giving the coordinates. This tragedy appeared similar to other incidents involving fishing vessels that have occurred in the seas around the Celtic coasts. 

A number of hours after the boat sank an announcement was made by the French Maritime Prefect for the Atlantic that a NATO naval exercise involving submarines was taking place in the area. The dangers posed by submarine activity has been the source of monitoring for may years by The Celtic League who have reported on a number incidents over the years that could have involved submarines resulting in the loss of life. Recently they reported on the MAIB report into the snagging of the fishing boat MFV Karen. This was an incident off the Irish coast in which the MFV Karen was snagged a year ago by an unidentified Royal Navy submarine.

After a decision by the Appeal Court of Roazhon on the 25th May 2015, that there was not enough evidence of submarine related activity causing the sinking of the Bugaled Breizh the matter was taken to the Supreme Court of Appeal of the French state where the appeal was rejected. This caused considerable distress to those seeking the truth of the sinking and accusations of political interference to close down information on the incident. Now the French provincial newspaper Ouest-France has reported on declassified documents from the US Navy that the USS Hyman G. Rickover, American-submarine was operating in an area close to and on the date when the Bugaled Breizh sank.

Demands are now increasing for an inquiry to be re-opended in France. Meanwhile the Inquest into the sinking of the Bugaled Breizh continues in Britain because two of the crews bodies were found in British territorial waters. It is scheduled for that inquiry to begin in January 2017. The families of the crew of the Bugaled Breizh and their supporters are determined to continue their campaign to uncover the truth.

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