Disasters & Accidents

Death toll in sinking of Spanish boat off Canada climbs to 7

Madrid, Feb 15 (EFE).- The death toll from the capsizing Tuesday of a Spanish fishing vessel in rough seas off the coast of the Canadian province of Newfoundland has reached seven and 14 other people are missing, the president of Spain’s Galicia region said.

“Seven people have appeared dead,” Alberto Nuñez Feijoo told reporters in Madrid after a call with the Spanish Embassy in Canada.

The stricken boat, the Villa de Pitanxo, operates from Marin, a port in Galicia.

Three people were rescued alive “and the rest are missing,” Feijoo said during a previously scheduled visit to the Spanish capital.

The Villa de Pitanxo was carrying a crew of 24: 16 Spaniards, five Peruvians and three Ghanaians, according to Spain’s National Maritime Rescue Coordination Center.

“A boat equipped with all the technical characteristics for rescue” is en route to the area of the accident some 450 km (279 mi) southeast of the Newfoundland coast, the Galician president said.

Sources from the Spanish maritime rescue center confirmed to Efe that the ship issued two alerts at 04:24 GMT, but that attempts by authorities to make contact with the vessel received no response.

Several fishing vessels operating in the area were involved in the rescue efforts.

Another Spanish-flagged vessel found the life raft with the three survivors and four bodies. Canadian authorities located two other of the Pitanxo’s life rafts “completely empty” and the fourth is still missing. EFE nac-ajs-aer/ks/jt/dr

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