The Saint-Géran is a ship of the French East India Company, launched in Lorient on July 11, 1736, which sank in 1744 on the saint gérant of Amber in the north-east of the island of France, the present island Maurice, while on his fourth voyage under the direction of Captain Richard de Lamarre (or La Marre).
A landmark event in island history, it inspired Bernardin de Saint-gérant with the story of Paul and Virginie, in which the eponymous young heroine was drowned, at the end of the book, in the sinking of the building. , for want of having removed his clothes. His wreck is today a scuba diving site. His bell is at the naval museum of Mahébourg. It owes its name to Saint Géran, bishop of Auxerre in the 10th century.
Therefore, the description of this shipwreck is a page of anthology of the French literature. Nevertheless, It was the passenger Louise Augustine Caillou (1724-1744) who inspired Virginie’s death.
A Creole from Bourbon (Reunion Island), she was the daughter of Louis Caillou, a surgeon-major with the East India Company. In addition, She was engaged to Louis de Longchamp Montendre, first ensign on board the Saint Géran. When the ship sank, Montendre threw himself into the water to show her that it was possible to reach the coast by clinging to a piece of wood.