Nearly ten people lost their lives when a Spanish fishing boat sank early Tuesday amid heavy surf off Newfoundland in eastern Canada, officials said. Following the tragic incident, three crew members were rescued from a lifeboat, while a search and rescue operation at sea for the other 11 crew members is still underway in the waters. heavy, CBS News reported. According to Spanish media, the 24-member crew included 16 Spaniards, as well as Peruvian and Ghanaian nationalities.
Maica Larriba, regional representative of Spain, informed Spanish public radio that the 50-meter-long fishing vessel “Villa de Pitanxo”, which works in the region of Galicia, in the northwest of Spain, has sank around 1 a.m. (local time). In addition, a helicopter, a Hercules aircraft, and a rescue vessel were deployed to the scene, 450 kilometers off Newfoundland, by an Air Force-run rescue center. and the Canadian Coast Guard in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Scotland.
By Tuesday afternoon, seven people had been confirmed dead. The rescue center further said on Twitter on Tuesday evening that three more bodies had been discovered, bringing the total death toll to ten.
Unfortunately, JRCC Hfx can confirm that 3 other deceased persons have been recovered from the sunken fishing vessel. Our hearts go out to all the families of this crew.
— HfxJRCC_CCCOS (@hfxjrcc) February 15, 2022
Strong winds, high waves and fog prevented the search operation
According to Spain’s maritime search and rescue service Salvamento Maritimo, two distress alarms were received from the Villa de Pitanxo boat, the BBC reported. Spokesman for Canada’s Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JRCC), Lieutenant Commander Brian Owens, said earlier that strong winds, high waves and fog were hampering the search operation.
According to Owens, three Cormorant helicopters were moving in and out of the search area, while a provincial airlines plane and a C-130 Hercules performed sensor scans overhead. He went on to say that the Canadian Coast Guard vessel Cygnus was also en route to the location of the debris to provide assistance, where “many” other Spanish fishing vessels were helping, CBS News.
Additionally, the three survivors, who were suffering from hypothermia, were discovered in a lifeboat and were transported to safety by a Canadian Coast Guard helicopter. According to the daily La Voz de Galicia, the 53-year-old skipper of the boat, as well as his 42-year-old nephew, were among the survivors.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has expressed concern
Additionally, officials say the first to reach the crash site was a Spanish fishing boat working near the scene of the sinking, which discovered three survivors and four bodies in one of the four lifeboats on board. fishing boat. Two of the lifeboats were reportedly empty, while the fourth was missing.
Meanwhile, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said in a tweet: “We are following with concern the search and rescue operation for the crew of the Galician ship that sank in Newfoundland waters.”