Two bodies found as gruesome search continues
9 June 2004
SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA – The specialist search team hunting for the remains of fishermen who died when their vessel sank a week ago found two more bodies Wednesday.
The divers and remote-control robots are working in the wreck of the fishing boat Bahia at almost 80 metres depth.
The dead fishermen have not yet been named.
The body of Leopoldo Couto Álvarez, 56, was found late Tuesday.
Relatives of the missing fishermen have been waiting while search teams have looked for the missing bodies.
They said they will continue to look for two more bodies which have not been found.
Each day, television pictures show how the gruesome search is progressing.
Gonzalo Ceballos, head of the search team, said the search was proving difficult because of the depth of the wreck and the number of obstacles in the way of the robots.
Rescue services found the bodies of five crew members last Thursday from the boat that had sunk the day before.
The Galician boat, with a crew of 10, went down in rough seas near the Sisargas Islands on 2 June.
Initially rescuers spent the night searching the area and have found bits of the boat, including life-jackets, EFE news agency reported.
An investigation began into what could have caused the tragedy.
The stretch of the Galician coast where the boat went down is known as the Coast of Death because of the number of shipwrecks.
The Prestige oil disaster, when millions of gallons of oil leaked from a wrecked tanker, happened further along the same stretch of dangerous coastline in November 2002.
The Bahia sent an emergency message before losing contact a few miles from the islands at about 8.15pm.
At the time there were strong winds and heavy seas.
The Bahia was returning from the Basque region, where it had been fishing for anchovy, to the port of Cesantes, in Redondela. The crew were all from the area.
The five whose bodies were found immediately were named as Jaime Migueles Díaz, Hermindo Castro Veiga, Antonio Sánchez Cobían, Manuel Refojo Sousa and Enrique Díaz Vázquez.
The Galician regional government has sent a team of psychologists to offer support to the families of those who died or are missing.
In the past ten years, 227 Galician fishermen have died at sea.
United Nations figures suggest fishing may be the world’s most dangerous occupation. Figures in 2001 suggested that an average of 70 lives were being lost every day.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news