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9 bodies were found; 12 others are missing in the fishing disaster off Canada

Canadian rescuers found more bodies on a Spanish fishing vessel that went down in rough seas off Newfoundland.

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9 bodies were found; 12 others are missing in the fishing disaster off Canada

This brings the death toll up to nine. However, the search for the 12 missing sailors was halted Wednesday afternoon.

Lt. Cmdr. Brian Owens, spokesperson for the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre Halifax, Canada said that all search and rescue aircraft and ships were returning to base, and that civilian vessels were freed from any obligation to help in the effort.

The fishing boat Villa de Pitanxo from northwest Spain, Galicia, was lost to the sea. It was anchored 460 km (250 miles) east of Newfoundland.

Three crew members were saved and nine bodies were recovered from the debris site. Owens stated that teams searched approximately 900 nautical miles around the site. However, high winds and 10-metre waves hampered the efforts. There were no survivors.

Halifax's Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre initially reported Tuesday night that the death count had increased to 10. The Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Halifax reported that the death toll had risen to 10.

Jose Luis Garcia, director for Spain's maritime rescue services, stated that "it appears that the error resulted from the fact that the body recovery was done by different boats and that one person was counted twice."

Canada's coast guard and air force operated Halifax's rescue center, which dispatched rescue vessels, helicopters, and planes to the scene. A fleet of rescue vessels from Canada and Spanish and Portuguese fishing boats were searching for survivors. Eight boats had been reported to be looking, Luis Planas, the Spanish Agriculture and Fishing Minister, said Wednesday.

Planas and local fish officials described the sunken vessel as "modern" and able to withstand the harsh conditions of the region. Planas stated that it was the "worst disaster for our fishing fleet" in 38 years.

According to Spain's maritime rescue agency, the crew consisted of 16 Spaniards and five Peruvians, as well as three workers from Ghana. According to Spanish news agency EFE, the survivors include Juan Padin, the ship's captain and Eduardo Rial, his nephew, and an unidentified sailor hailing from Ghana.

Gloria Padin, mother of Eduardo, and sister to Juan, said that she was relieved that they were alive.

Fearful relatives gathered in Marin, Spain to wait for the remains of the victims.

Spain's parliament observed a moment of silence for fishermen at Wednesday's opening session. Meanwhile, three days of mourning were declared by northwest Galicia with a strong fishing industry.

"We're talking about people who were proficient in sailing, and they are professional sailors, great captains, and skilled sailors. They must have had to sail in extremely difficult seas," stated Alberto Nunez Feijoo, Galician regional president.

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