Spanish media reported that there were 22 sailors aboard the vessel when it went down. | Reuters


Three sailors were plucked from life rafts in bitterly cold seas off eastern Canada on Tuesday after their trawler sank, and rescuers searching for other survivors spotted bodies, a Spanish official said.

The Spanish fishing vessel was named as the Villa del Pitanxo by daily El Pais, which said it had a crew of 24, including 12 Spaniards, two Ghanaians and several Peruvians.

Government official Maica Larriba said rescuers had sighted four of the vessel's life rafts. They had been able to get to three and were still trying to reach the fourth.

"Two were completely empty and in one of them were just three survivors in a state of hypothermic shock because the temperature of the water is terrible, very low," she said.
"We have been told there are bodies."

The government was in coordination and permanent contact with local rescue services, its spokesperson, Isabel Rodriguez, told a news conference.

Nores Marin, the Villa del Pitanxo's owners, declined to comment.

Based in the city of Pontevedra in the northwestern region of Galicia, the Nores Group has fishing vessels operating in the South Atlantic, off the Canadian coast and between Mauritania and Guinea-Bissau.

Refinitiv data showed the Villa del Pitanxo left the Galician port of Vigo on Jan. 26.