Pontevedra, Spain, Feb 16 (EFE).- Rescuers were scouring frigid Atlantic waters for 11 people who remain unaccounted for on Wednesday after a Spanish fishing vessel sank in rough seas off the Canadian coast while authorities in Spain have identified the three survivors and declared a period of mourning after 10 crew members were confirmed to have died.
The Villa de Pitanxo, which was based in Marin, a port in the northwestern Spanish region of Galicia, went down some 250 nautical miles (460 km) east of the Newfoundland coast early Tuesday morning.
Rescue efforts have been hampered by adverse conditions with 4 m (13 ft) high waves and visibility of only around 500 m.
Three bodies were recovered late Tuesday, two by a Canadian vessel and a third by the crew of a Portuguese fishing boat which, alongside several Spanish fishing vessels, has joined Canadian authorities in the search and rescue efforts, Spanish Maritime Rescue said.
The only three known to have survived the shipwreck so far are the vessel’s captain Juan Padin, his nephew Eduardo Rial and a crew member of Ghanaian origin whose identity has yet to be made public, the regional Galician government said Wednesday.
The Villa de Pitanxo had a crew of 24: 16 Spaniards, five Peruvians and three Ghanaians, according to Maritime Rescue.
Alberto Núñez Feijóo, head of the Galician regional government, declared three days of mourning and later headed to the port town of Marin to meet with local authorities and the owners of the Villa de Pitanxo.
Spain’s prime minister Pedro Sanchez on Tuesday said the government was closely following the search and rescue efforts off the Newfoundland coast and expressed his sorrow to the relatives of those involved. EFE