A Canadian Coast Guard vessel rescued on Sunday 22 fishermen from the frigid waters off Newfoundland on Sunday after the Spanish trawler Monte Galineiro 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, 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 kilometers southeast of St. John's, Newfoundland, 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 and flown 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 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.