Three men on rescue boat die off French coast during Storm Miguel

Three crew of a rescue vessel have died after she overturned off the western French coast during a rescue mission. Storm Miguel was raging over the Vendée coastline with gusts of up to 129 km/h. Patron Jacques Morisseau – SNS 061 of the SNSM-statin Sables-d’Olonne, with seven people on board, was called to assist 11.5-m-gillnetter Carrera at 11:00 local time on June 7th. The fishing vessel had got in trouble in the rough seas about 2.5 miles off the coast, while trying to return to port.

The rescue boat capsized 800 metres off the beach of Tanchet after a wave broke the windows of the cockpit. Water ingress and a short circuit caused the engine to fail. At 11.36 a.m. a witness reported the grounding of the boat. Seventy firefighters and a dozen staff from SAMU were mobilized. Three helicopters of the civil security, the National Gendarmerie and the Navy also participated in the SAR operation. Four crew members were able to swim onto the beach, but three men, Yann Chagnolleau, Dimitri Moulic and Alain Guibert, died. Two were stuck inside the boat that ran aground bottom up on the rocks at the end of Sables Beach. In the meantime the fishing boat sank, and its skipper was still missing. The hull could not yet be located. An investigation was opened in the afternoon by the brigade of maritime police of Sables-d’Olonne and the maritime gendarmerie of Lorient.