1989 a tempest raged for days on the West coast of Brittany –one of the
most dangerous seas in Europe with frequent violent storms, huge waves
and strong currents.
A photographer, Jean Guichard hired a helicopter to take aerial
pictures of the storm despite extremely dangerous flying conditions. The
helicopter made it to the lighthouseLa Jumentand
hovered around to take shots of the waves pounding the lighthouse.
Inside the tower, the keeper Théodore Malgorn heard the helicopter and
went downstairs to see what was going on.
At that very moment, a giant wave rose over the rear of the lighthouse
and Guichard took his shots as the wave smashed against the tower.
Théodore Malgorn, suddenly realising that a giant wave was about to
engulf the structure, rushed back inside just in time to save his life.
In an interview he said: “If I had been a little further away from
the door, I would not have made it back into the tower. And I would be
dead today. You cannot play with the sea.” Jean Guichard’s 1989
dramatic storm photo shots became an instant hit and earned him the 2nd
place in the 1991 World Press Photo award. (more)