Russian film «Scarlet Sails» realized by Alexandre Ptouchko tells the story of a little girl playing with a small boat with red sails. An old man predicts that when she will grow up, a young man will take her on a white ship with scarlet sails. He will live with her a so beautiful life that she will never be sad! The scarlet sails also feature the old iconic ships of our maritime heritage.
In Cherbourg (France), the history of the association «Scarlet Sails» is based on the experience and reflection of a man, Gerard Bourdet. Policeman and educator both, he observes that the prison is not an appropriate response to allow delinquent teenagers to come back in the wake of the society. Before become policeman, he served in the Merchant Navy since the age of fourteen years old. He knows all the educational dimension of the sea and refers to the work of Père Jaouen with its boat «Bel Espoir».
With the support of the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Justice, he created in 2003 the operation «clean harbors, clean hands». For a week, he takes to sea delinquent adolescents for whom justice decided to criminal reparation. During stops in ports, adolescents perform work of cleaning the beaches or the coast accompanied by the volunteers of the association.
In addition to the prevention of delinquency and rehabilitation, the association is truly for all and participates actively to the preservation of maritime heritage and many actions in favor of the preservation of the environment. Alongside the volunteers, it allows everyone to learn the spirit of crew and the solidarity of seafarers.