French warship FS Primauguet at North Shields to honour lost sailors
A French warship visiting Tyneside is honouring the lives of sailors lost during two shipping tragedies off the North East coast.
A ceremony is taking place on board for those who died when the Bastiaise sank in 1940 off Hartlepool and the trawler Tadorn sank north of Boulmer in 1913.
The French frigate FS Primauguet will stayed docked at North Shields quay until Tuesday.
Twenty-five of the 30 men on Tadorn were saved by Boulmer's lifeboat.
The Primauguet's commanding officer Capt Jean-Louis Maulbon d'Arbaumont and Cdr Ed McNaught of Tyneside's HMS Calliope were due to host a lunch on Saturday in honour of the rescuers from Northumberland and Teesside.
Tadorn was wrecked off Howick in a severe storm on 29 March 1913. Five bodies were recovered and laid to rest in the local churchyard.
Lt/Cdr Charles Wood said: "Thanks to the Boulmer lifeboat crew, the Craster coastguard and the generous care of local people, 25 lives were saved, but five sailors died and were laid to rest in Howick churchyard.
"The Bastiaise was Teesside-built but French manned which sank off Hartlepool having struck a mine. Local rescuers were instrumental in saving lives.
"The visit is to commemorate both Anglo-French relations, the loss of the French ships and local communities in launching rescue attempts."
He said that wreaths would be laid at sea to honour those lost when the Primauguet sails on Tuesday.