So far, 10 fishermen have been found dead while 11 more continued to be missing Tuesday after a Spain-based trawler sank in seas off eastern Canada. On the other hand, poor weather conditions have reduced the chances of locating more survivors.
The vessel had on board 24 crew members when it sank 250 nm east of Newfoundland. The rescuers continued searching for the rest of the crew despite extreme weather conditions.
A plane, two helicopters, and Portuguese and Spanish fishing boats were involved in the rescue search. Canada’s Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (also popular as the JRCC) mentioned on Tuesday that seven bodies could be recovered and three survivors were somehow saved with a life raft in the Atlantic.
Unforeseen weather conditions, such as heaving seas, strong winds, and limited visibility, kept making the search more difficult. Nightfall coupled with dropping temperatures in the North Atlantic further lowered the chances of finding more members alive.
The transport ministry of Spain has been able to identify the crew members. Of them, three are Ghanaians, 16 are Spanish, and five are Peruvians.
The Villa de Pitanxo, a 50-meter fishing vessel sent out distress calls twice. The calls were received at 5:24 am in Madrid.
After nearly five hours, another fishing vessel based in Spain found that was in the area observed two life rafts, one of these had three survivors and multiple bodies, it said.
Rescuers, later on, found four more dead bodies. It was not clear what made the boat founder. Canadian rescuers mentioned that they are hopeful that more survivors can still be rescued irrespective of critical weather conditions.
In another news interview, Isabel Rodríguez García, the territorial policy minister and also the Spanish government spokeswoman, confirmed the rescue of three men but added that she would not be able to comment more than this.
The boat had been constructed in 2004, per Vesselfinder, a website dedicated to supervising marine traffic. The owner is a fishing firm named Grupo Nores. The latter specializes in dogfish, fishing cod, and other species easily found in the waters of the North Atlantic.
Elisabeth Calderón, the aunt of Jonathan Calderón (another sailor), mentioned to local reporters that the ship was at sea for more than a month. Jonathan has a wife and two children. The wife was traveling when the shipwreck happened, the aunt informed.
A sailor named Carlos Ordóñez had his nephew on the ship. He shared that the family was “overwhelmed.” They do not even know whether their nephew is alive or dead.