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Search canceled after Spanish trawler sinks off Canada


At least nine sailors have died and a dozen are still missing after a Spanish fishing boat sank off the Canadian coast on Monday night.

The fishing boat, named Villa de Pitanxo, sank some 450 kilometers east of Newfoundland, according to the Salvamento Maritimo agency.

The 50-meter-long vessel had 24 crew members on board, including 16 Spanish sailors, five Peruvians and three Ghanaians.

Three sailors – including the ship’s captain – were first rescued from the scene, while seven were confirmed dead on Tuesday afternoon. Canadian rescue services later confirmed that at least two more bodies had been recovered.

Authorities on Wednesday decided to call off the “comprehensive search” after earlier saying it was “unlikely” that any more survivors would be found.

Spanish Fisheries Minister Luis Planas called the sinking “the worst tragedy for our fishing fleet in 38 years”.

A search is underway for those still missing, with the support of an airplane, two helicopters and a Spanish and Portuguese fishing boat. A Canadian ship and a Halifax-based frigate joined the effort.

“Conditions in the area are windy, rough seas and reduced visibility,” Salvamento Maritimo said in a tweet.

Planas and local fisheries officials described the Spanish boat as “modern” and designed to withstand the weather typical of the region.

The “Villa de Pitanxo” was based in the port of Marin in northwestern Spain, where family members had gathered, waiting for news.

Spain’s parliament observed a minute’s silence on Wednesday, while the northwest region of Galicia declared three days of mourning.

“We are talking about people who knew how to sail, they are professionals, good captains and excellent sailors. So they had to be in very rough seas,” Galician regional president Alberto Núñez Feijóo said.



euronews Gt

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