A new inquiry into the sinking of a French trawler off the coast of Cornwall in 2004 is needed to resolve the mystery surrounding the vessel’s unexplained loss and the deaths of the five crew.
According to the Bugaled Breizh blog, a hearing held last week in Truro was told by marine lawyer Charles Hattersley that justice must be seen to be done. Cornwall coroner Dr Emma Carlyon was told that an Article 2 inquest is needed, the kind usually resorted to when there is government involvement. This refers to Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights that deals with the right to life. The court was told that an extended inquiry is needed as a response to the longstanding suspicions of a cover-up as the trawler was lost under suspicious circumstances and the involvement of a submarine is widely believed to be the case.
The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has argued that an extended inquiry is not necessary as all military craft in the area at the time of the trawler’s loss can be accounted for. Dr Carlyon has requested documents from the MoD, the Marine Accident Investigation Branch and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, as well as asking for underwater footage shot by an unmanned submarine at the outset of the original investigation into the loss of the Bugaled Breizh.
A further hearing is set for the 16th of July.
The Bugaled Breizh was lost at a position approximately 14 nautical miles S-W of the Lizard Point on15th of January 2004. A brief distress alert was transmitted before the trawler disappeared. All five crew loss their lives. The reasons for the trawler’s sinking in relatively good conditions and with an experienced crew on board remain unclear to this day.