A Spanish fishing boat carrying 24 people sank hundreds of miles off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, early Tuesday, killing at least seven people and leaving more than a dozen missing. According to Canadian and Spanish Navy officials.
The Spanish Maritime Rescue Service said in a statement that another fishing boat rescued three people who were nearby when the 164-foot vessel, Villa de Betanxo, sank.
The survivors had made it to a lifeboat, which also carried the bodies of four crew members. The first lieutenant commander later found the bodies of three other crew members in the water. Brian Owens, spokesman for the Atlantic Joint Task Force and the Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The boat was stationed in the Galician town of Marin in northwestern Spain. Maria Ramalo, the city’s mayor, told reporters that the drowning was “a tragedy on a scale we cannot remember.”
Spanish officials said search and rescue crews faced rough waters, poor visibility and windy conditions at sea.
The rescue service said the boat was carrying 16 Spaniards, five Peruvians and three Ghanaians. The boat sank about 280 miles off the coast of Newfoundland, according to Spanish officials He said on Twitter.
Officials said two Spanish and Portuguese helicopters, an aircraft and fishing boats were involved in the search.
Rescue Center in Halifax She said she received an emergency signal Just after midnight on Tuesday from Villa de Betanxo. The sign indicated that the boat was east of St. John’s, the capital of Newfoundland and Labrador. A helicopter, another plane, and several ships were deployed.
Commander Owens said rescuers are still hopeful they will be able to find the crew members alive. He said they may have been able to put on life jackets before the ship sank or find a wreck or a lifeboat to cling to.
“We never exclude the human spirit,” he said. “People find ways to survive.”
He said the fishing boat itself had not been found.
“We are still disturbed by the terrible news from Canada about the sinking of Villa de Betanxo,” Alberto Nunez Viejo, regional president of the province of Galicia, He said on Twitter. “We are providing the government and the ship owner with all the help they need.”
On Tuesday, Mica Lariba, a local official in Galicia, said that contact with the vessel was lost at around 5 am in Spain.
In a separate press conference, Isabel Rodriguez Garcia, the Spanish government’s regional policy minister and spokeswoman, confirmed the rescue of three crew members, but said she could not comment further.
“We are following with concern and concern the rescue operations,” she said.
The boat was built in 2004, according to Vesselfindera marine traffic tracking website.
The ship’s owner is a fishing company, Grupo Nores, that specializes in fishing for cod, dogfish and other species found in the North Atlantic, Spanish media reports.
In Marin and other nearby towns where crew members live, relatives anxiously awaited more news of their loved ones on Tuesday.
Elizabeth Calderon, aunt of a sailor, Jonathan Calderon, Tell Local reporters that his ship has been at sea for more than a month. His aunt said that Mr. Calderon had a wife and two children.
She said his wife was traveling when the ship sank.
“Imagine when the family found out,” said Ms. Calderon.
Carlos Ordonez, one of the sailors who was his nephew on board, said the family was “extremely stressful”.
“We don’t know if they are alive or dead,” he said.
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