Tragedy in Brittany and Galicia as fishing trawlers sink

Loss of Breton fishing vessel “La P'tite Julie” and Galician trawler “Cordero” leave 2 sailors dead and 9 others missing in two sepparate wreckages.

Loss of Breton fishing vessel “La P'tite Julie” and Galician trawler “Cordero” leave 2 sailors dead and 9 others missing in two sepparate wreckages.

Two men have died and four are still missing after Breton fishing vessel “La P'tite Julie” sank between Cornwall and Brittany during the early hours of 7th January 2008.

This is the worst accident to hit the Breton fishing community since the trawler “Bugaled Breizh” sank with the loss of five men off Cornwall in January 2004.

Reports suggest that “La P'tite Julie” sank in only 5 minutes in heavy seas, with swells of up to 5 metres and winds of gale force 9.

The trawler's last reported position was 80km (50 miles) south-east of the Lizard, Cornwall, and 55km (34 miles) north of île Vierge, Brittany.

The search and rescue operation found alive one of the seven-men crew, who was suffering from hypothermia, and two dead bodies. The tragedy has hit hard the small fishing town of Erquy, in north-east Brittany, where the ship was based.

The French investigation will send divers to inspect the hull of the sunken vessel, at about 80m depth, for signs of a possible collission.

Four Galician trawlers shipwrecked in just one month

Five men are still missing after Galician trawler “Cordero” sank 48km (30 miles) north-west of Corunna on 15th January 2008.

The rescue operation could find alive three of the eight-men crew before it had to be called-off due to a strong storm with swells of up to 10 metres and winds of gale force 11.

The “Cordero”, based in the fishing town of Santa Uxia in western Galicia, sank at 02:00 AM local time as it was returning to port. The shipowner believed the vessel must have sunk after colliding with a lost container.

Last month has been very unfortunate for the Galician fishing fleet, which lost four ships in the Atlantic.

Last 23rd January, Corunna-based trawler “Royalist” sank 370km (200 miles) off the coast of Co. Clare, Ireland. The 18 men-crew were rescued safely by a French trawler that was in the area at the time.

On 1st February, Galician-owned fishing vessel “Spinning Dale” shipwrecked on the isle of St Kilda off the Hebrides in Scotland, while looking for shelter from stormy winds. The 14 men-crew were flown to safety by the Stornoway coastguard.

One day later, Vigo-based fishing vessel “Ferralenes” sank off the Falkland islands in the South Atlantic due to heavy seas. The 31 men-crew were rescued safely by two other Galician ships which were also in the area.

Shipping warning as 90 containers lost off the coast of Cornwall

Cargo ship “Horncliff” lost 90 containers overboard last 1st February as she was struck by a giant wave 360km (225 miles) off the Isles of Scilly, Cornwall.

Seven injured people had to be airlifted off the “Horncliff” and taken to the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro, including the captain. The ship had to be moored in Falmouth harbour, south Cornwall, for temporary repairs.

The UK Coastguards warned ships in the area to be aware of a danger of containers in the sea. It is expected that all containers will eventually sink.

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