• France's news in English

Passenger ferry runs aground off Brittany

Ben McPartland · 3 Sep 2013, 16:36

Published: 03 Sep 2013 16:36 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The boat, named Fromveur II, which serves the mainland and the islands off the western coast of Finistère ran aground on Tuesday morning with 365 passengers on board.

According to reports the boat hit rocks near Trois Pierres, less than a kilometre north of the island of Molène, in dense fog.

“We could hardly see 20 metres in front of us,” said Jean-François Rocher, who is mayor of Molène and owner of a lifeboat.

Passenger Anne-Marie Cluett from Guernsey told AFP: “We just heard a crunch. They tried to get the boat off the rocks but the sea had dropped. It was impossible.

“Some passengers began to panic and the crew tried to reassure them. We were afraid the boat would roll over, but fortunately it remained upright.

“We were told to put on life jackets. It was scary. It seemed a long time before the arrival of the first rescue boats,” Cluett added.

In the dense fog there was confusion around what had actually happened with some passengers believing they had simply docked at the port.

One passing named Marianne knew exactly what had occurred. “We knew we were far from the port, and knew straight away that we had run aground.”

Story continues below…

According to photos the ship appears to have strayed too far to the left as it made its way up a narrow channel.

Rescue helicopters were immediately sent to the scene, but the ship was stable enough for passengers to be evacuated into other life boats to be taken to the shore.

Bosses from the ferry company Penn ar Bed said divers were assessing damage to ship.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
What's on in France: Top things to do in November
Don't miss the chocolate fashion show in Lyon. Photo: Salon du chocolat

The autumn is in full swing in France, and there's plenty to do.

What Paris 'squalor pit' Gare du Nord will look like in future
All photos: Wilmotte et Assoicés

IN PICTURES: The universally accepted 'squalor pit of Europe' is finally getting a facelift.

Halloween: The ten spookiest spots in Paris
Is there really a ghost on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower? Photo: AFP

Read at your own peril.

Halloween holiday in France: Traffic nightmares and sun!
Photo: AFP

But it's great news for the country's beleaguered tourism industry.

French MPs vote to make Airbnb 'professionals' pay tax
Photo: AFP

Do you make a lot of money through Airbnb in France? You'll have to pay a share to the taxman in future.

France and Britain accused of abandoning Calais minors
Photo: AFP

Scores of young migrants are forced to sleep rough for a second night.

France given wake up call as it bids for Brexit business
The business district 'La Defense' in Paris. Photo: AFP

France clearly has some work to do if it really wants to pinch business from the UK post-Brexit.

Mouth fun? French words you just can't translate literally
Do you know the French word for throat-support? Photo: AFP

Word of warning: Don't translate French literally.

How France plans to help its stressed-out police force
Yellow smoke rises around French police officers in Paris holding a banner reading "Solidarity with our colleagues, police angry". All photos: AFP

Could these measures stop the cops from protesting?

'3,000 migrants dispersed' after 'Jungle' clearance
Photo: AFP

While thousands of migrants have been bussed out around France, new ones are arriving all the time and thousands of others have simply been dispersed aid agencies say.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available