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Video: Spanish Responders Refloat Fishing Vessel After Fatal Capsizing

sunken fishing vessel
Image courtesy Salvamento Maritimo

Published Nov 14, 2022 4:31 PM by The Maritime Executive

Spanish rescue agency Salvamento Maritimo has refloated the wreck of a fishing vessel that capsized just off the coast of Almeria, completing the response to the casualty. The vessel's sinking claimed the life of the skipper. 

On Thursday afternoon, the fishing vessel Bahía la Isleta was struck by a wave and capsized at a position about one mile offshore. The local office of the Guardia Civil received a call about the casualty at 1400 and notified the agency's maritime service. A rescue helicopter with a two-man dive team was dispatched quickly to the scene. 

Image courtesy Salvamento Maritimo

Two of the crewmembers from Bahía la Isleta survived the capsizing and self-rescued by swimming to safety on shore. However, the captain was trapped inside and went down with the ship.

The Guardia Civil's responders proceeded on the assumption that he could still be alive in an air pocket inside, and the dive team went down to inspect the wreck. The skipper had not survived; they recovered his body from within the boat and returned to the surface. 

After the search and recovery mission, the work turned to salvage. The boat was largely submerged in about 100 feet of water and posed a risk of pollution. The maritime captaincy of Almeria ordered it refloated and removed, and a salvage vessel belonging to Salvamento Maritimo took on the task. 

On Saturday, Salvamento Maritimo's special operations group and the pollution-response vessel Clara Campoamor carried out the wreck removal using inflatable float bags. The recovery of the sunken vessel eliminates the possibility of further pollution and brings the salvage operation to a close.