The 50-meter FV Villa de Pitanxo. Photo courtesy Salvamento Marítimo

Search and Rescue Underway After Spanish Trawler Sinks Off Newfoundland

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 3521
February 15, 2022

Update: Three survivors and six bodies have now recovered, according to Salvamento Marítimo.

A major search and rescue operation is underway after a fishing trawler with 24 crew members has reportedly sunk in the North Atlantic off the coast of Newfoundland.

Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) Halifax reports receiving an EPIRB signal just after midnight from a fishing vessel approximately 280 miles (450 km) east of St. John’s.

Spain’s search and rescue agency Salvamento Marítimo reports that the vessel is the FV Villa de Pitanxo, based out of Marín, Spain, with 24 crew members on board.

A fishing boat in the area has rescued three survivors and four bodies from a life raft.

Conditions in the area are reported to be windy, rough seas, and reduced visibility.

A search coordinated by JRCC Halifax is ongoing. One plane, two helicopters, and a Spanish and a Portuguese fishing boat are participating in the search, to be joined by a Canadian ship and frigate, according to Salvamento Marítimo.

The crew is made up of 16 Spanish nationals, 5 from Peru and 3 from Ghana.

Rescuers report seeing “many scattered objects” in the water.

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