Dead and missing after Spanish fishing boat shipwrecked in Canada

by Lorraine Williamson
fishing boat sank Newfoundland - STOCK IMAGE

At least ten people have been killed after a fishing boat from Galicia was wrecked off the east coast of Canada. Of the 24 crew members, 16 are Spaniards, 5 Peruvians, and 3 Ghanaians. 

Rescue workers have found the surviving 3 victims severely hypothermic. Eleven crew members are still missing. The fishing boat from Pontevedra sank in Canadian waters off Newfoundland. The ship’s captain survived the disaster that occurred early Tuesday morning. 

No contact with crew members 

Sources from the National Maritime Coordination Centre in Madrid (CNCS) have confirmed to EFE news agency that two distress signals came in from the ship at 5.24 am Tuesday morning. The authorities were subsequently unable to contact the crew members. The satellite made contact with crew members of two fishing boats that were fishing in the area at the time. They participated in the subsequent rescue efforts. 

Difficult circumstances 

Canadian rescuers are currently still looking for the missing crew members. The three survivors were severely hypothermic because Newfoundland’s seawater is rough and extremely cold. Furthermore, there were waves as high as four metres and visibility was less than 500 metres. 

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The Halifax-based Rescue Coordination Center has said the deployed helicopter and an aircraft have not yet been able to trace the remains of the ship. It is feared that the ship has sunk in its entirety. 

Prime Minister Sanchez worried 

Spanish Prime Minister Sánchez took to social media to say that his government is following the search and rescue efforts with great concern and remains in constant contact with the rescue services. The Prime Minister also expressed his condolences and affection for all the relatives of the victims of the disaster. Spanish Ambassador to Montreal, Alfredo Martínez Serrano, has traveled to Newfoundland to assist in the search and rescue of the crew of the Spanish fishing boat. 

It is as yet unknown what caused the fishing boat to get into trouble. Mayor María Ramallo of Marín (Pontevedra), the ship’s homeport, said that a tragedy of such magnitude had never happened in her municipality before. She went on to say that it is not just Marín who is going through a rough time, but the entire district of O Morrazo, from which almost all the crew members come. 

Related post: Rough seas in northern Spain

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