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Mystery remains over trawler loss

By West Briton  |  Posted: March 07, 2013

Neil Plummer and Beatrice Kerno, back right, with Breton visitors who are relatives of the lost fisherman, Claudine Launay and film maker Jacques Losay, back, and, in the front, Cecile Losay with Iris, Anne-Marie Losay and Thierry Lemetayer with Clara.

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RELATIVES of five French fishermen who died when their trawler mysteriously sank off the Lizard coast nine years ago are presenting a memorial in their memory.

The Bugaled Breizh family plaque was due to be unveiled at The Top House pub today, marking the disappearance of their loved ones on January 14, 2004 off Lizard Point.

The relatives are visiting Cornwall to screen a moving film depicting their nine-year battle to uncover the truth behind why their trawler had sunk.

Jacques Losay's film, The Silent Killer, looks into the trauma suffered by the families when all five crew members were lost after the Bugaled Breizh sunk 37 seconds after it was last reported to have spoken to a neighbouring vessel.

Only three bodies were recovered, two from the sea off Lizard Point and one from the trawler when it was finally lifted from the seabed.

Last month French authorities ruled out the involvement of the Royal Navy submarine Turbulent in the sinking of the vessel.

Two expert reports went against the long-held belief of the families that the submarine had got caught up in the trawler's nets and dragged it down. Cornish delegate to Breton, Beatrice Kerno, from Porthleven, organised screenings of the film which is being shown at fishing harbours in Cornwall.

It was first seen at Newquay on Sunday, where a petition was started in the hope of gaining 100,000 signatures to be presented to Parliament.

The film was being shown at Porthleven Village Hall last night and in Newlyn on Monday.

It will be screened at Looe Lifeboat house tonight 7pm.

Each session was followed by question and answers with the boat owner and family representatives.

Mrs Kerno said: "The film depicts their efforts during the past nine years to find the truth about what happened when the boat mysteriously sank.

"A lot of French fishermen use Newlyn harbour and are well known by local men.

"The Cornish fishing community has a lot of sympathy for the relatives and have been appalled by what has happened."

Many local fishermen, she said, claimed to have encounters with submarines, losing equipment and nets.

She added: "It has been a very emotional trip for them (Breton families). They have many unanswered questions and want clarity and closure.

"They have appreciated the Cornish support and have been very moved by the following."

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