12 still missing after Canada shipwreck: family demands resume search

by Lorraine Williamson
shipwrek at stormy sea - stock image

After the sinking of the Galician fishing boat, 12 people are still missing off the Canadian coast. The search has been halted due to bad weather. However, families are urging the Spanish government to continue the search for the shipwreck. The bad weather seems to be the reported cause of the disaster. 

The accident with the fishing boat ‘Villa de Pitanxo’ from Galicia happened on the night of February 14-15. It was soon announced that a total of 24 people were on board; sixteen Spaniards, five Peruvians, and three Ghanaians. The day after the shipwreck, three surviving victims were found severely hypothermic, among them the captain of the boat. Furthermore, in the past week, rescuers managed to recover nine bodies. 

Survivors and bodies recovered back to Spain 

On Sunday, the Spanish news site La Sexta reported that a Spanish repatriation plane had reached Canada on Sunday evening. The plane is supposed to fly back to Spain today with the three survivors and the remains of five other Spaniards. Another plane will soon return the bodies of the four Peruvians found to their home country. 

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Demonstrations to cease search for 12 missing persons on board 

The fact that three people survived the shipwreck and nine bodies were recovered means that twelve people are still missing. Relatives say they are coming to Madrid this week to demonstrate and attempt to meet Prime Minister Sánchez and Minister Díaz and ask them to resume the ceased search. The family members have now collected 60,000 signatures to demand that the search for the other 12 missing people continue. 

Weather seems better, search not yet resumed off the coast of Canada 

Shortly after the accident, the Spanish government promised to do everything it could to find all those on board. However, the search had to be stopped because of the severe weather and metres high waves. Canadian authorities said on Sunday that the search has not yet resumed, although weather conditions have improved, according to local authorities. 

Storm cause of shipwreck Villa de Pitanxo? 

It is now known that there were very bad weather conditions in the waters of Newfoundland on the night of the shipwreck. The shipwreck of this fishing boat is therefore a cause for discussion as to when sailing is allowed and not allowed during storms or bad weather. The sector proposes that governments draw up general regulations that answer this question, the Spanish newspaper Eldiario.es wrote on Sunday. 

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