This is the end of a mystery more than 50 years old: the Minister of Armies Florence Parly announced Monday morning that the wreck of the submarine La Minerve was found off Toulon, 45 km from the coast, by 2,300 meters of bottom.
A widow "persuaded" that La Minerve would be located
The veil could be lifted on this enigma thanks to a big work of the French navy, which had resumed the research in February, 49 years after the disappearance of the submarine, on January 27, 1968. In this quest, the navy has been helped by Ifremer since early July and by an American ship specialized in finding wrecks arrived at the scene five days ago. This allowed to find this submarine in three separate pieces, formally identified by the letters "MIN", filmed by underwater devices on one of these pieces." These 50 years of waiting are still long, do not have information, reasons, places ... "
For families, who have been waiting for explanations for years, the emotion is immense. "I was convinced that the Minerve would be located, it was certain for me," says the microphone of Europe 1 Thérèse Scheirmann-Descamps, widow of one of the submariners, Jules, who was 29 at the time of the shipwreck. "These 50 years of waiting are still long.Do not have information, reasons, places ... It's a life of waiting."
"They have a grave, finally"
"The fact that it was found appeases me," says the woman who was 25 years old at the time of the sinking. "My children and I will be able to mourn and pay a final tribute, go to the scene, make a ceremony and say they are there, they have a grave, finally."
From now on, Therese and the other families of the disappeared are waiting to know how La Minerve and its 800 tons were able to sink and end up imploding under pressure. Damage to the two rear bars, collision with a boat, explosion of a missile, a torpedo, accident of the ventilation tube ... Multiple causes had been advanced to explain the accident. Monday, in the middle of the day, no details were given on the origin of this disappearance.