September 20, 2019 (Google Translation) – Two emotional ceremonies were held on land and at sea on 14 and 15 September 2019 to pay tribute to the submariners who died in the sinking of La Minerve on 27 January 1968 off Toulon.
In the presence of many elected officials, including Mr. Hubert Falco, Mayor of Toulon, a first ceremony took place at the submariners monument in Toulon on September 14th. In the presence of a large audience, Honorary Vice-Admiral Laurent Isnard, Commander of the Borough and the Mediterranean Sea Zone, Maritime Prefect of the Mediterranean, expressed his gratitude for having to find the Minerva and offer the brothers-in-arms and relatives of these sailors a place of maritime burial to remember.
He also took advantage of this solemn moment to salute the collective effort of all the actors involved in this research: SHOM (Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service of the Navy), IFREMER (French Research Institute for the Exploitation of the Sea ), the SHD (Historical Defense Service), the CEA (Commissariat for Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies) and the company Ocean Infinity who have worked under the coordination of the Navy to locate La Minerve at 2370 meters depth to 45 km off Toulon. The discovery on the screens of the images of this submarine’s kiosk on July 21st, will remain engraved in the memories of all these actors.
The next day, Sunday, September 15, nearly 260 close to the 52 crew members of the Minerve boarded the amphibious helicopter carrier Tonnerre to go to the site of the sinking. In the presence of Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces, and Admiral Christophe Prazuck, Chief of Staff of the Navy, a ceremony followed by a jet of jets of flowers at the sea allowed the families to go, for the first time, in line with the exact location of the disappearance of a husband, a brother, an uncle …
Mrs. Parly, who decided last February to resume research with the current technical means, welcomed their memory and paid a final tribute.
Today, the missing of the Minerve rest in a place known to their relatives and their heirs of the Navy and in particular, those of the submarine forces which perpetuate their memory.