A trawler skipper who rushed to the aid of another fishing boat after it capsized off the Cornish coast reported seeing a submarine that appeared to be “evading” him, 死因審問は聞いた.
Relatives of the five-strong French trawler crew who died in the incident off Lizard Point 17 数年前 believe the vessel, the Bugaled Breizh, sank after its nets were snagged by a submarine.
The Ministry of Defence denies that any Royal Navy vessel was to blame, but the judge hearing the inquest, Nigel Lickley QC, told the families that he would examine to see if a submarine could have been involved.
On day two of the inquest in London, Serge Cossec, the skipper of the trawler Eridan, described how his boat, which had been fishing with the Bugaled Breizh, took a call from the stricken vessel at about 12.25pm on 15 1月 2004.
Cossec said the skipper of the Bugaled Breizh, Yves Gloaguen, told him: “Come quickly, we are capsizing.” He continued: “I said to him ‘What’s going on?’ and he repeated the same thing.” Cossec said he told Gloaguen to launch his life rafts because something “abnormal” happening. There was “panic” in Gloaguen’s voice, 彼は言った. Cossec issued a mayday call at 12.35pm.
The crew of the Eridan hauled in their nets and headed to Bugaled Breizh’s position. It took them about 30 minutes to reach it and when they got there they found a “very large” oil slick. During their search they came across two life rafts and a distress beacon but no survivors.
Cossec said he saw a submarine, its tower above the water and watched it for about 30 分.
Oliver Hymans, a barrister for the family of Gloaguen, 45, and a second man who died, Pascal Le Floch, 49, told the inquest that in a statement Cossec had said the submarine was “evading” them. Hymans asked: “Is that true?” Cossec replied: “Yes.”
Cossec told the inquest he had often fished in the area and had never snagged his nets there.
Marc Cariou, the second mechanic on the Eridan, said he also saw the submarine. He told the court it was between 300 metres and 400 metres from their boat and moved across their path.
The inquest has been told that there were three submarines in the area at the time, which were due to take part in a Nato exercise. Closest was the Dutch submarine Dolfijn, which is said to have been 12 miles away on the surface when the sinking took place. A German submarine, the U-22, だった 40 nautical miles away, also on the surface. The British submarine, HMS Torbay, was said to be 100 nautical miles away beneath the surface.
The Dolfijn responded to the mayday call and was on the scene by 2pm to help with the rescue. The inquest has not so far addressed the issue of whether this could have been the submarine seen by Cossec and Cariou.
Some relatives of the men who died believe another British submarine, HMS Turbulent, could be involved. The former captain of HMS Turbulent and an officer from the Dolfijn are due to give evidence next week.
Five men died in the tragedy. An inquest on Gloaguen and Le Floch is taking place in the UK because their bodies were flown back to コーンウォール.
The inquest continues.