This film is part of Free

The Tragedy of the Jeanne Gougy Trawler

Trawler in trouble as rescue crews arrive.

News 1962 6 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for South West Film and Television Archive


The French trawler Jeanne Gougy was on its return journey to Dieppe in Normandy from Irish fishing grounds around Waterford when the vessel ran into trouble in bad weather and capsized at Gamper Bay between Sennen Cove and Land's End. At 5am on 3 November 1962 the Coastguard, the RNLI and a 22 Squadron Whirlwind helicopter from RAF Chivenor were called to the scene. Six out of eighteen trawlermen were rescued. Peter Lanyon's painting Wreck (1963) hangs in Tate St Ives.

RAF Sergeant Eric Smith winched Michel Pade and Napoleon Bertin to safety and received the George medal for bravery. Victor David, Jean Ridel, Maurice Fromentin and Christian Anthore were rescued by breeches buoy. According to tradition the coffins were laid out on the quayside at Penzance. The Gougy Roseline trawler accompanied them home to their final resting place, skipper Joseph Penher, Bernard Liberge, Eugene Botte, Jean Grisard, Guy Legaillard, and later Jean Claude Poussin. For the loss at sea at Armoured Knight Rock, we remember Yves Bouillon, Claude Dupuis, Serge Brehinier, Michel Defrance, Rene Olivier, Auguste Brouard. The crew was aged between 16 and 52.