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Ten lifeless in fishing crisis off Canada after Spanish send sinks

BARCELONA, Spain: Three more bodies were recovered after a Spanish fishing ship sunk in rough seas off Newfoundland, bringing the death toll to 10.

Canadian rescuers are still looking for the 11 crew members who went missing after the 164-foot fishing boat, Villa de Pitanxo, went down in the eastern Atlantic Ocean early this week.

Three members—the ship’s captain, Juan Padn, his nephew Eduardo Rial, and an unidentified sailor from Ghana—were rescued. The crew included 16 Spaniards, five Peruvians and three workers from Ghana, according to Spain’s maritime rescue service.

The Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Halifax confirmed the recovery of the three additional bodies.

“Our thoughts go out to all the families of this crew,” the rescue center said on Twitter.

Eight boats are searching for survivors, a fleet made up of Canadian rescue vessels and Spanish and Portuguese fishing boats, Spanish Agriculture and Fishing Minister Luis Planas said.

Describing the sinking as the “worst tragedy for our fishing fleet in 38 years”, Planas and local fishing officials described the sunken boat as “modern” and able to withstand the typically harsh weather of the area.

Lt.-Cmdr. Brian Owens, spokesman for the Halifax rescue center, said the region was experiencing 46 mph winds and sea swells up to 18 feet.

Family members gathered at the Spanish coastal town of Marn are waiting for the remains to be identified.

Spain’s parliament held a minute of silence at the opening of the February 16 session for the fishermen, while northwest Galicia, which has a strong fishing industry, declared three days of mourning.

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“We are talking about people who knew how to sail, they are professionals, good captains and excellent sailors. So they must have been in very difficult seas,” said Galician regional president Alberto Nez Feijo.