Specifically, Patron Jacques Morisseau – SNS 061 of the SNSM-statin Sables-d’Olonne, had seven people onboard when she was called to rescue a 11.5-m-gillnetter Carrera at 1100 hours (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.
While on its way to help the fishing vessel, 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 1136 hours, a witness confirmed the grounding of the rescue 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 struck inside the boat that had ran aground; Whereas, the fishing boat sank and its skipper was still missing, as the hull could not 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.
In light of this incident, Stéphane Buchou, Deputy of the Vendée and Chairman of the Monitoring Committee of the National Coast Trait tweeted
The rescuers of the SNSM of Les Sables d'Olonne have unfortunately paid with their lives for their dedication and bravery All my thoughts are with the victims and their families I give my full support to the rescuers who are always mobilized.