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View on Ria of Etel estuary, on Plouhinec bank (the other side is in Etel). Ria of Etel is known for its river bar, a shoal formed by alluvions. When the weather is bad or when the tides are important, water is very turbulent and access to the river is very dangerous, sometimes impossible. There's a semaphore on the estuary that guides navigators to the entry of the river. A big arrow gives them the cape to follow. When the arrow is replaced by a black cross, access to the river is forbidden.

That was the cas on october 3rd, 1958, a sad day for people of the area. That day, the weather was bad, not the right day to cross the river bar. But famous doctor Alain Bombard (known because he crossed Atlantic in 113 days in dinghy to prove people could survive a long time in oceans) wanted to take the most of this weather to test a new kind of lifeboat. Local navigators said him not to go to the river bar, because conditions were too dangerous. But he decided to go with 6 volunteers. The lifeboat crossed the first waves but finally he turned over. A lifeboat, Vice Amiral Schwerer II, came to rescue them, but its screw sticked in a hawser and it turned over too. The results were terrible : 9 people died, 3 in Bombard boat, 6 in Vice Amiral Schwerer II. Local people never forgot this drama ...

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Additional Photos by Olivier THIERRY (chawax) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1340 W: 28 N: 3034] (19204)
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