By James Rogers | Fox News
The wreck of a French Navy submarine that disappeared in the Mediterranean in 1968 has been found, ending a 51-year mystery.
The Minerve vanished on Jan. 27, 1968 with the loss of her 52-strong crew. Officials announced Tuesday that the wreck of the Daphne-class submarine was discovered off France’s Var coast.
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“We have just found the Minerve,” tweeted French defense minister Florence Parly on Tuesday. “It’s a success, a relief and a technical feat. I think of the families who have been waiting for this moment so long.”
Nous venons de retrouver la Minerve. C’est un succès, un soulagement et une prouesse technique. Je pense aux familles qui ont attendu ce moment si longtemps.
Agence France Presse reports that the sub was discovered 18.5 nautical miles (21.3 miles) off Toulon, which is France’s main naval base. The sub has broken into three pieces on the seabed at a depth of 7,776 feet, according to AFP.
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The French Navy, the French Research Institute for Sea Exploration (Ifremer) and the ship Seabed Constructor, which is operated by U.S. exploration company Ocean Infinity, all took part in the search for the sub.
File photo of the French Navy’s submarine Minerve, which disappeared on Jan.27, 1968. (STF/AFP/Getty Images)
“Our thoughts go out to the families of the 52 missing sailors,” tweeted the French Embassy in Washington, D.C.
The wreck of the submarine La Minerve that disappeared in 1968 has been found off the Var coast in the Mediterranean thanks to the associated skills of the French Navy, Ifremer, and the ship Seabed Constructor.
Our thoughts go out to the families of the 52 missing sailors
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Admiral Christophe Prazuck tweeted an image of the submarine’s wreck on the seabed. The sub’s name is clearly visible in red letters on the mangled hull. “Here rest our 52 comrades who disappeared on January 27, 1968,” he wrote.
Ici reposent nos 52 camarades disparus le 27 janvier 1968.
Chef d’état-major de la Marine@amiralPrazuck
BZ CC Olivier, CC Martin, CF Thomas, CV Lionel @MarineNationale, au service historique de la défense, à @Ifremer_fr au @shom_fr au @CEA_Officiel et à @Ocean__Infinity . Leurs actions personnelles ont été déterminantes pour retrouver la #Minerve
Just over two years after the Minerve’s disappearance, another Daphne-class French submarine, Eurydice, was lost off France’s Mediterranean coast. The New York Times writes that an explosion was reported during a practice dive in calm seas off Cape Camarot. The sub’s 57-strong crew all died in the disaster.
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