Ten Dead and 11 Missing as Spanish Fishing Boat Sinks Off Canada

At least 10 people have died and 11 are missing after a Spanish fishing boat sank off Canada’s east coast on Feb. 15, Spanish sea search and rescue agency Salvamento Maritimo reported.

Authorities have rescued at least three crew members while efforts to find other survivors continue.

Survivors included 53-year-old skipper Juan Costa Padín and his 42-year-old nephew Eduardo, newspaper La Voz de Galicia reported.

According to the Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JRRC) in Halifax, 24 crew members were on board the vessel, known as the Villa de Pitanxo from the Spanish region of Galicia, when it sank off the coast of Newfoundland.

Salvamento Maritimo said the crew members comprised of 16 Spaniards, five Peruvians, and 3 Ghanaians.

JRRC said they received an emergency signal from the 50-meter vessel just after midnight, about 250 nautical miles east of St. Johns, the capital of Newfoundland.

Rescuers have located four of the vessel’s lifeboats — two of which were empty while rescuers are still trying to reach the fourth one, according to Maica Larriba, the regional representative of the Spanish government.

Lieutenant Commander Brian Owens of the JRRC could not say how long the search will go on.

“The priority is to continue searching for these individuals. Any determination of the length will be based later on,” Owens said, according to CBC.

Owens also said that rescuers are battling against harsh winter weather conditions, including four-meter waves and visibility reduced to one-quarter nautical mile.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said that he was following the search and rescue efforts “with concern.”

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