4 dead, 17 missing in disaster at sea — Analysis

On Monday, the trawler was submerged in extremely cold waters off Newfoundland.

Rescue efforts are underway in the search for over a dozen crew members missing from a Spanish fishing vessel that sank off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada on Monday evening, Spain’s government has said. Up to now, there have been four fatalities.

According to the Spanish Coast Guard, three of the survivors found themselves on the lifeboat where they suffered from hypothermia due to being submerged into the cold Atlantic waters. The Spanish Coast Guard reported that two other lifeboats had been found empty and one is still missing.

The vessel had 24 crew members on board at the time of the disaster, according to Spain’s maritime rescue service. The crew comprised 16 Spaniards as well as residents from Peru and Ghana. The remaining 17 are still unaccounted for, and the cause of the vessel’s sinking is not currently known.

Spain’s maritime rescue service named the vessel as the Villa del Pitanxo, operated by commercial fishing firm Nores Marin which is based in the city of Pontevedra, in the northwestern region of Galicia. This fishing firm operates in South Atlantic waters, between Canada and Mauritania. According to the website, it was founded in 1950. The company operates eight trawlers and has around 300 employees. 

Maica Larraba, Pontevedra’s central government representative, confirmed that the bodies were found and continued to search for the missing crew.

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