Spanish fishing trawler sinks off Canada’s east coast; 10 dead, 11 missing

A Spanish fishing trawler sank off Canada’s east coast overnight on Monday, with 10 people dead and 11 missing, Spanish and Canadian rescuers said.

Rescuers managed to save three crew members after the boat went down some 250 nautical miles east of Newfoundland, Canada’s Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre (JRCC) said.

Spain’s transport ministry said there were 24 crew members on board the vessel at the time, updating an earlier figure of 22. It identified them as 16 Spanish nationals, five Peruvians and three from Ghana.

The Villa de Pitanxo, a 50-metre fishing vessel which is based in Spain’s northwestern Galicia region, sent out two distress calls which were received at 5:24am in Madrid, a ministry statement said.

Earlier Maica Larriba, the central government representative in Pontevedra in the northwestern region of Galicia where the owners of the trawler is based, told public radio rescuers had sighted four of the vessel’s life rafts. They had been able to get to three and were still trying to reach the fourth.

“We have been informed that … bodies have been found,” she added.

“Two were completely empty and in one of them were just three survivors in a state of hypothermic shock because the temperature of the water is terrible, very low,” she said.

The Villa de Pitanxo is a freezer trawler registered in 2004 that is based in Marin, a small port near Pontevedra, and belongs to shipowner Manuel Nores.

Founded in 1950, the firm has eight freezer trawlers and some 300 employees with vessels operating off the Canadian coast, in the South Atlantic and off the western coast of Africa, according to its website.

The company, founded in 1950, has eight freezer trawlers and some 300 employees, according to its website.