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Did a British submarine really sink a French trawler off the Lizard 10 years ago today?

By WBGraeme  |  Posted: January 15, 2014

The French fishing boat Bugaled Breizh

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TODAY marks the 10th anniversary of the controversial loss of a French trawler with all five crew off the Cornish coast.

Despite an investigation, the sinking of the Bugaled Breizh in 2004 has been blamed on a British submarine tangling the boat’s nets or cables.

But in October last year, two French judges wound up an inquiry and concluded that the submarine in question was in port and there was no evidence of any wrongdoing.

However, in an act of solidarity with French families and campaigners, an evening of songs and stories is due to be held tonight in The Lizard.

The event is to remember the five men who died, on that day a decade ago, and raise money for Newlyn Fishermen’s Mission.

Beatrice Kerno, formerly of Porthleven and now living in Stithians, has organised tonight’s event.

She said: “It was on Wednesday, January 15, 2004, that the crew members made their last calls to families in Brittany, from the Fishermen’s Mission in Newlyn. They said their farewells to their Cornish fishermen friends and announced to their loved ones that they would soon be home.

“They had stocked up with provisions for their fishing trip which should have ended with their arrival back in Loctudy, Southern Finistere, Brittany.

“However ,just a few hours later, their boat sank off The Lizard.

“There were no survivors, and even today two of them are still missing.

“Five families still mourn the loss of father, husband, brother and son.With each year that passes, January 15 brings back the memory of that terrible day.

“Over the years, they have struggled through the courts non-stop, in attempts to get some explanations from governments as to how fishermen going about their daily business can disappear to the bottom of the ocean with no apparent reason.”

She said the French families had been over to visit in recent years and a group from Cornwall had made the trip to Brittany.

The evening of songs and stories of the sea will be held at The Top House, The Lizard, from 8pm.

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