“Many crew members cried when they found Olivia’s body”


“When we found Olivia’s body, we only saw the bag and noticed the smell when the remains arrived at the ship, before the Civil Guard took them away, but we did not stop hitting the head and many of us fell into tears”


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Who speaks like this is a neighbor of O Morrazo, a member of the crew of the oceanographic vessel Ángeles Alvariño who worked until this Thursday in the search for the bodies of the girls who disappeared in Tenerife since April and the father who allegedly ended their lives: Tomás Gimeno and the little ones Anna and Olivia. This Morracense worked until exhaustion like his companions. She was part of the 14-person crew that was present when Olivia’s remains were found., the only ones found.

“When we got there, the police had already defined the field on which to search. We swept the entire area with both a probe and a lateral scanning machine, which detected any object that was identified in the background. Then the underwater robot came down to check everything identified“, remember.

Three crew members of the Ángeles Alvariño, lowering the underwater robot.


Mentally review everything that happened in those days. “The operation was going to end, initially, on June 8, but two days before that date we found the oxygen bottle and the famous quilt. That is why the judge decided to prolong the search “.

“We did not see anything because the body was in a bag. It was found at 11 in the morning – weighed down with an anchor – and it could not be refloated until five in the afternoon”


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They only had to wait two days to hear the tragic news. “Then the remains of the girl, Olivia, appeared“. He acknowledges the shock, even though both he and his teammates reached the zone psyched up from the emotionally tough task ahead.

Command post of the Liporus and visualization of the images it captures in the background.


“We didn’t see anything because the body was in a bag. It was found at 11 in the morning – weighed down with an anchor – and it was not possible to refloat until five in the afternoon. You don’t see anything but you don’t stop turning your head. The crew did not eat. We are not used to those things because Ángeles Alvariño is not dedicated to that. It was right for us to go because we had the robot on other tasks, “he says.

After more than a month in Canarian waters, this Galician vessel from the Spanish Institute of Oceanography has abandoned the search after the judge in charge of the case authorized their return, understanding that the search had become “unapproachable”.

Image of the Ángeles Alvariño robot, which found the body of little Olivia and the oxygen bottles.


The neighbor of the region explains that “I don’t know what they will do because many things are heard on televisions and social networks, that they are going to hire an external company. But it is not something simple. If they find something, how do they get it? For that, they need a very sophisticated robot ”, he wonders.

During the days when the neighbor of the region was there, “we were the 14 people who handled the boat and we also had six technicians who handled the underwater robot, who worked 12-hour guards, so the search never stopped. . For the survey of the entire area we had three geologists who also worked day and night shifts. “In addition there were also two Italian technicians for the side scan probe.”

“Some programs were very on top and in some things it was exaggerated”


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One of the complicated parts of this month of work to exhaustion, for the Angeles Alvariño crew, was precisely dealing with the media uproar around this human tragedy. “Some programs were very much on top and in some things it was exaggerated. When we arrived in Tenerife on May 31, it was full of media asking us about the operation, but we explained that we are crew members and we had no relationship with the operation itself ”. When finding the first objects “They took the cordon off the press a bit, but once we got used to it, in general they treated us very well and encouraged us at all times.”

The oceanographic vessel, in the port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. EFE


The crew understands that “If the older girl was in the bag, we think that surely the little girl was also there”he explains sadly. This crew member has been at home for two weeks after his relief and recognizes that it is not so easy to disconnect from what we experienced in the Canary Islands “because many people ask us what we are going through. In this the mind of each one plays a lot. As we did not see anything, now we are leaving all that behind ”.

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