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10 dead, 11 missing as Spanish trawler sinks off eastern Canada in rough seas

10 dead, 11 missing as Spanish trawler sinks off eastern Canada in rough seas

People walk in downtown Valencia, Spain, on Feb. 11, 2022.Photo:Xinhua

=At least 10 fishermen died and 11 others were missing Tuesday after a trawler from Spain sank in rough seas off eastern Canada, officials said, with poor weather reducing chances of finding more survivors.

There were 24 crew members aboard the vessel when it went down some 250 nautical miles (463 kilometers) east of Newfoundland, with rescuers searching for the remaining crew despite difficult weather conditions, officials said.

Earlier Tuesday, Canada’s Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) said seven bodies had been recovered and three survivors rescued – plucked from a life raft in the Atlantic, according to Spanish officials.

“Regrettably, JRCC Hfx can confirm that an additional 3 deceased individuals have been recovered from the sunken fishing vessel,” the center’s Halifax operation tweeted in the evening.

Weather conditions, including heaving seas, fierce winds and reduced visibility, were complicating the search for survivors, with the arrival of nightfall and dropping temperatures in the cold north Atlantic only reducing the chances of finding more crew members alive.

Spain’s transport ministry has identified the crew members as 16 Spanish nationals, five Peruvians and three Ghanaians.

The Villa de Pitanxo, a 50-meter fishing vessel that is based at a port in Galicia, sent out two distress calls, which were received at 5:24 am (0424 GMT) in Madrid, the ministry said.

Five hours later, another Spanish fishing vessel that was in the area spotted two life rafts, one of which was carrying three survivors and several bodies, it said.

Rescuers later found another four bodies.