Portuguese Sub Snags French Trawler Off Cornwall Where Bugaled Breizh Sank

The Celtic League has reported that a submarine involved in a NATO exercise off Cornwall got entangled in the nets of a French trawler last week (see link):


The Portuguese sub accompanied by a larger vessel.
The Portuguese sub accompanied by a larger vessel.

The Portuguese submarine NRP Tridente is an electric powered submarine of approx 2000 tonnes and is small by the standards of modern nuclear submarines.

Fortunately, both vessels were able to extricate themselves from the incident although the trawler sustained some damage.

The event occurred in an area where a French trawler inexplicably sank over ten years ago and relatives of those lost suspect submarine involvement as a NATO exercise was underway at that time. The loss of the MFV Bugaled Breizh in 2004 is subsequently the subject of an inquest due to reconvene in Cornwall shortly.

The Celtic League has documented many suspicious incidents and sinking’s over a forty year period and we successfully campaigned for the introduction of better safety regulation both at the International Maritime Organisation and with submarine operating powers.

In 1982 the League were involved in highlighting the sinking of the Irish vessel MFV Sheralga in the Irish Sea having photographed the submarine HMS Porpoise in the area prior to the sinking. The submarine that sank the MFV Sheralga was coincidentally the same size as the NRP Tridente. It’s fair to say that the crew of the fishing boat involved in the latest incident had a narrow escape.

More recently the Celtic League has pressed the UK authorities about the snagging of the N. Ireland MFV Karen and also incidents off Donegal.