Death of three children after a shipwreck off Coutainville: “We could just see the boat’s nose”
The sinking of a pleasure boat caused three deaths Monday off Agon-Coutainville in the English Channel. Three children aged 7 and 11 could not be revived despite important relief. “I had never done such an intervention,” says Pascal Dutot of SNSM.
The day after the sinking of a pleasure boat off Coutainville in the Channel, the emotion is still alive this Tuesday morning. Three children aged 7 and 11 died. The three adults who accompanied them were ejected. They were rescued by members of a nearby sailing school and teams from the SNSM, including that of the Agon-Coutainville substation. But the children stuck for long minutes in the cabin of the boat could not be saved.
“We arrived in the area, the boat had already returned, we could just see the boat’s nose and the tiles in the cabin,” explains Pascal Dutot, president of SNSM Coutainville, “Two people, including a person from the sailing school, tried to break the windshield of the boat to clear the children who were inside. They did not have a hammer so they used an anchor.
After breaking the Plexiglas, they were able to pull the three children out of the boat’s cabinet, one after the other, and bring them back to the beach. The children could not be revived.
“The boat took a blade. The sea came in from behind, filled the boat and sank gradually, “explains Pascal Dutot. The sea was rough on Monday. The president of SNSM Agon-Coutainville believes that the pleasure boat was not suitable for an exit in its conditions. An engine failure could be the cause of the drama.
“We anchored to break the windows of the boat” (Pascal Dutot president of the station SNSM Agon-Coutainville) Copy
“It was not a time to go out with boats like that”
“There was a lot of hollow, a lot of wind, it was not a time to go out with boats like that. Apart from the sailing school that was out with the catamarans, we did not see a boater in the water. With a small boat like that, I would not be out: as soon as there is a little wind for these boats it is not worth it, “he says.
An investigation was opened by the prosecutor’s office of Coutances to determine the precise circumstances of the sinking. It was entrusted to the gendarmerie brigade of Coutances and the nautical brigade of Coutances. The gendarmes who will have to check if all the rules of safety and navigation have been respected.