MONTEVIDEO – Sixteen of the 25 survivors of the sinking of a Spanish fishing vessel off the coast of Argentina arrived on Sunday in the Uruguayan capital along with the body of a man who died in the accident.
The other nine members of the crew of the Dorneda who survived last Wednesday’s tragedy came ashore around the same time in Mar del Plata, Argentina.
The Farruco, owned – like the Dorneda – by Spanish fishing company Freiremar, transported the 16 crew-members to Montevideo, while their colleagues made the trip to Argentina aboard another fishing boat, the Beagle I.
“We are here, thank God, perhaps for the experience we have at sea and also for several comrades who were calm and patient,” Peruvian crew-member Luis Eduardo Namuche told reporters after disembarking here.
The Dorneda, based in Montevideo, was carrying a crew of 27, including Spaniards, Peruvians, Moroccans, and Indonesians, when it sank last Wednesday amid rough seas and heavy weather some 570 kilometers (354 miles) off the southern Argentine port city of Comodoro Rivadavia.
Piling into lifeboats, the crew had to cope with the waves for more than five hours before the Farruco and the Beagle I could come to their aid, Namuche said.
One crew member, a Peruvian national, was found dead in a lifeboat, while another remains unaccounted for.
Besides friends and family, waiting for the mariners on the dock in Montevideo were Spanish and Peruvian consular officials.
Jose Rodriguez, Spain’s consul-general in Uruguay, told EFE that he was there to find out “what it is that these Spanish citizens need.”
The head of the consular section at the Peruvian Embassy, Olga Victoria Lukashevich, greeted her compatriots with bags of clothing.
“Regrettably there is a Peruvian who died and we will try to take all the appropriate steps for the repatriation of the remains,” she said.