5 Stars for the Canadian Coast Guard !

Crew of Spanish trawler rescued after vessel sinks off N.L.

Crew of Spanish trawler rescued after vessel sinks off N.L.

Last Updated: Sunday, February 22, 2009 | 11:11 PM NT

The crew of the 30-metre Spanish trawler Monte Galineiro escape a fire by jumping into the water and on to life rafts on Sunday morning. The 22 fishermen were rescued by the Canadian Coast Guard who happened to be in the area in the North Atlantic when the distress call was made. Canadian Coast GuardA Canadian Coast Guard vessel rescued 22 fishermen from the frigid waters off Newfoundland on Sunday after their fishing trawler caught fire and later sank.

The coast guard vessel Leonard J. Cowley which happened to be in the area when the crew of the 30-metre Monte Galineiro made a distress call at 10:30 a.m. local time arrived minutes later to find the fishermen leaping into the water or sliding into life rafts to escape the fire.

The coast guard plucked the men from the North Atlantic waters about 400 kilometres southeast of St. John's, N.L., and had all of the crew aboard by noon, according to the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Halifax.

Jeri Grychowski, a spokeswoman for the rescue centre, said the men are in good condition, with only one crewmember suffering from hypothermia. Another person suffered from smoke inhalation and was flown by helicopter to hospital in St. John's.

The Cowley vessel is expected to arrive Monday in St. John's with the rest of the fishermen, the CBC's Jane Adey reported.

The Spanish trawler, which caught on fire, later sank but all crew members were rescued by the coast guard on Sunday morning. Canadian Coast Guard The vessel was conducting a routine fisheries patrol in the area when it received the mayday call from the Spanish trawler.

Capt. Derek LeRiche said the Crowley had been slowly approaching the vessel with plans to send fisheries inspectors on board when he received the distress call.

He called it a "bit of luck" for the desperate mariners that his ship was only minutes away.

"It was pretty dramatic when you see a ship sinking and people being launched in a life raft people jumping off the side," LeRiche explained by telephone from his ship.

A cause of the fire has not been disclosed, Adey said.
Ron in Regina
It's good that the Canadian Coast Guard happened to be a few
minutes away and could save these Spanish fishermen....but they
just happened to be in the area 250 miles S.E. of Newfoundland?

Don't we patrol up to 200 miles off our coastline to account for the
continental shelf in order to enforce our territorial rights over the
Grand Banks to keep foreign fishing vessels out? Please excuse the
pun, but doesn't this seem a bit "fishy" to anyone else?
Part of the Grand Banks is in international waters. Canada can control vessels in Canadian waters, but not international waters. But that doesn't mean we can't keep an eye on them. We have the same right to patrol international waters the same as anyone else.

Sure it sounds "fishy". Its possible the crew had something to hide and scuttled their ship. Maybe they want to enter Canada and become illegal immigrants. Who knows.
I t doesn't sound that fishy to me. I worked as a fishery observer one summer, and the Coast Guard was often patrolling the International border we share with the US on George's Bank. They can patrol outside of the EEZ and enforce NAFO (Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization) regulations, but any legal action is dependent on the nation of the home port for the particular vessel. They are the ones who would have to charge them if some regulations were being ignored.
Ron in Regina
Not too many fishery observers on the Prairies so I've got zero first hand
experience to base my question on. the number of 200 miles stuck in my
mind though, so 400km (250mi SW of Newfoundland sounded strange)
and happened to be at this sinking vessel in minutes seemed to be one
hell of a coincidence from a guy on the outside looking in....
It is a coincidence, a very lucky coincidence. But that doesn't make it fishy, well maybe fishy if you're making a pun. Patrols in the frontier regions of the EEZ are routine.
Cheated death by minutes, rescued Spanish mariners say

Coast guard vessel docks in St. John's with rescued crew

Last Updated: Monday, February 23, 2009 | 3:28 PM NT The Spanish trawler Monte Galineiro sank quickly on Sunday morning, about 400 kilometres east of St. John's.(Canadian Coast Guard)

The captain of a Spanish fishing vessel said Monday he and his crew were in mortal peril when a Canadian Coast Guard ship pulled them from the frigid North Atlantic.

"In five minutes, the ship [was] sinking very fast," Ivan Blanco, the captain of the Monte Galineiro, told reporters in St. John's on Monday, just a day after the entire crew of 22 were safely plucked from the Atlantic after a fire ripped through the ship.

Crew members from the Monte Galineiro prepare to disembark from the Leonard J. Cowley after the coast guard ship arrived in St. John's on Monday. (CBC)

Blanco and the ship's cook, Justice Ehun, said an explosion in the Monte Galineiro's engine room caused the fire.

They said they had mere minutes to escape the ship and were delighted that the coast guard vessel Leonard J. Cowley was on the scene soon after the distress call went out.

The Cowley arrived Monday in St. John's, carrying 21 mariners who had been rescued while the Monte Galineiro sank, about 400 kilometres east of St. John's.
Another crew member, who had been suffering from hypothermia, had already been flown to hospital in St. John's. He has since been released.

Speaking earlier with reporters in St. John's, Capt. Derek LeRiche said luck played a role in the rescue of the fishermen, as the Cowley was in the area waiting to carry out a routine inspection of the Monte Galineiro.

"It's good that we were close," LeRiche said. "The closer the better."

LeRiche said just 20 minutes elapsed from the moment the Cowley received a distress signal to the time the ship sank. He said it took the coast guard crew about 10 minutes to arrive on the scene.
Rescuers donated clothes

Some of the fishermen had enough time to don survival suits, but others did not. LeRiche said one fisherman was wearing only underwear when he was rescued.
Some of the crew of the Cowley, he said, donated their clothes to the rescued men. "I don't know if they got it back or not," LeRiche joked.

Blanco and Ehun said the crew has been grateful for the assistance they have received from the coast guard, the Canadian Red Cross and citizens of St. John's who have volunteered assistance.

Speaking earlier with CBC News, LeRiche said he could see fear in the eyes of the crew as they were rescued by two fast rescue craft, known as FRCs.

"They were all trying to jump aboard the FRC the one time, and of course we can't have too many people in the FRC. We had to stop them at one point," LeRiche told CBC News.

Robert Nerison, a crew member aboard the Monte Galineiro, said the incident unfolded so rapidly that no one had enough time to react.

"We don't know where is the fire," Nerison told CBC News. "Emergency alarm blowing, beep beep beep everybody come up."

John Parsons, the second in command of the Leonard J. Cowley, said there was no time to spare.

"Basically, we just pulled up to the life raft and started pulling them out," said Parsons, who led the coast guard rescue team on the water.

"If we hadn't been there, they wouldn't last the guys in the water wouldn't have lasted five or 10 minutes. The water was that cold."

LeRiche also said the scene unfolded very quickly.

"She tipped over on her port side, and it kept getting worse until she sunk from the stern to the bow," he said in an interview.

The survivors clapped and smiled as they were being helped aboard the coast guard vessel, he said.

"They were pretty happy that we were there, of course," said LeRiche, adding he is very proud of his crew's response in saving nearly two dozen lives.

"We took as many as we could in the two FRCs and brought them back to the ship, and what we couldn't take, we left them in the life-raft and went back and made a second trip later on," he said.

Members of the Spanish trawler's crew smiled and waved from the Cowley as it arrived in port, and appeared happy as they left the vessel.

The ship's manifest shows that the crew is predominantly Spanish, though some came from other countries, including Ghana, Morocco and Romania.

The crew are expected to leave St. John's for Spain on Tuesday night.

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