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The history of Saint-Géran is associated in the minds of the work of Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, Paul and Virginie. In this book, the Ile de France (Mauritius) serves as a setting for the innocent passion of two young people. Virginie leaves for France to complete her education and leaves Paul who remains on the island.

On her return, she embarked on the Saint-Géran. On arrival at the Ile de France, the ship waits anchored at anchor, below the coral reef, between the Ile d’Ambre and the land. The wind picks up and the Saint-Géran presents its front to the oncoming hurricane. He is trapped because he cannot get out and the wind pushes him to the ground. As the sea has grown rough, the ship is pulling more and more on its breaking moorings. Paul de la terre sees everything that happens and jumps into the water to save Virginie. She’s on the stern of the ship, reaching out to Paul,

There you have it, the story of the sinking of the Saint-Géran in the novel by Bernardin de Saint-Pierre. This version, although very beautiful and moving, is very far from the truth. In fact, the sinking of the Saint-Géran happened quite differently. The Saint-Géran, a vessel of 600 tons and 28 guns, was armed on March 24, 1744 by the Compagnie des Indes to reach the Île de France. It is commanded by Captain Gabriel Richard de la Marre and has as first lieutenant the so-called Jean François Males. She arrived under sail in sight of the Ile de France, at 4:00 pm, August 17, 1744. The weather was fine, the Saint-Géran was heading for the Ile de France. Because of a navigation error, after three o’clock in the morning, on August 18, 1744, he hugged the coral reef at the level of the breakers. The hull is burst and the wedge is filling with water. The captain asks the crew to put the rowboat in the water with men on board, but it shatters on the deck. The vessel then listens with the wind, the captain gives the order to bring down the large mast which in its fall breaks the mizzen mast. As the ship broke more and more, the captain saw that it was no longer possible to save the ship,

The facts as we the above report are from the testimony recorded in writing of survivors, called the Beloved Carret, 2 e quartermaster aboard the Saint Geran. Indeed, the latter makes a declaration to the armaments office of the Compagnie des Indes de Lorient on his return so that the Company can remit their due to the families of all the survivors. This is how he specifies that there were 9 survivors:

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