PARIS, July 8 (Reuters) - A 35-metre (115-foot) schooner
sunk off the coast of Brittany in western France early on
Tuesday and all nine crew members were rescued by helicopter,
French maritime authorities in the port of Brest said.
The Thopaga, a two-masted wooden ship built in 1924, was on
its way from Spain to Brest which is hosting a gathering of tall
ships and old sailboats from July 11 to 17, expected to draw
hundreds of thousands of visitors like previous editions.
The crew of the Thopaga reported a major leak in the middle
of the night before leaving the ship aboard a lifeboat. They
were plucked from the lifeboat by helicopter after the ship went
The schooner sank 65 km (40 miles) off the coast of
Brittany, said Bertrand Hudault of the Atlantic Maritime
Prefecture by telephone from Brest.