Owners of the ‘Villa de Pitanxo’ explain why the Galician ship sank

Image of Galician fishing boat Villa de Pitanxo.

Image of Galician fishing boat Villa de Pitanxo. Credit: Bene Riobó/Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0

The Galician trawler ‘Villa de Pitanxo’ allegedly sank after its main engine suddenly stopped.

Pesquerias Nores, the shipping company that owns the Galician trawler, ‘Villa de Pitanxo’, which tragically sank off the coast of Canada’s Newfoundland last Tuesday, February 14, has today, Monday, February 21, made public the reason why the maritime incident occurred.

According to the explanation offered to the company by one of the only three survivors – the ship’s skipper, Juan Padin – the ship’s main engine stopped suddenly during a manoeuvre.

This shutting down of the engine left the ship “without propulsion or steering”, and exposed it to the wind and waves, suffering shocks from the sea that listed the vessel, which subsequently sank “very quickly”.

This afternoon, the shipowners met with the families of the deceased and missing crew members to convey this information, and to speak about the status of the repatriations.

They showed their “full willingness” to encourage the search operations to resume “as soon as possible”, and also insisted they want to find out the possible causes of the tragic accident.

At the end of that meeting, which lasted for more than two hours, the daughter of the chief engineer, Maria Jose de Pazo, explained that the families have demanded the shipowner supports their request to resume the search “for the 12 that are missing, because it is the priority today”.

One surprising aspect of today’s meeting came when the relatives were expressly asked if they had spoken yet with the survivors, of whom the skipper is one. They emphatically replied that no, they had not.

This raised the question of why the company would make a public statement including such information, before first informing the family members.

During a press conference today in Madrid, President Pedro Sanchez assured that the Canadian authorities will help in the recovery of the missing sailors.

“As soon as favourable conditions occur, the Canadian authorities have said that they will help the recovery of the fishermen who have unfortunately died on their coasts”, Sanchez said after his meeting earlier with the Danish Prime Minister, Mette Frederiksen, as reported by 20minutos.es.


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com