The most terrible toll of the sea in 44 years

The most terrible toll of the sea in 44 years

In Cangas do Morrazo the festivity of Cristo del Consuelo is celebrated on the last weekend of August. But in 1932 everything dressed in mourning; the name that baptizes the religious stature –and the main celebrations of this locality– did not make an appearance. “Unexpectedly, when the remaining good weather here suggested that no tragic gusts would come from the sea, news of the horrifying sinister surfaced. In the waters of Sálvora, witness of so many sinisters, this one took place that mourns 22 seafaring homes and leaves a sad trail of orphans and widows”. Thus he recounted Lighthouse of Vigoon August 7 of that summer, the sad trace of the motor trawler azana.

There were only two survivors; a third was saved by falling asleep before the departure of the trawler. "Never has the sea swallowed, in a single breath, 22 children of the villa border."

They were all from Cangas. The tragedy of the 'Villa de Pitanxo', with at least 10 deceased (another 11 crew remain missing), has returned the pain of the memory of so many shipwrecks for the seafaring family. There had not been a catastrophe of these dimensions since 1978.

The freezer trawler Marbell He had left Vigo at five in the afternoon, on January 29. There were 36 men on board, bound for South Africa. The times of the call had not come Constitution of the Oceans –that would force shipowners to resort to joint ventures to operate within 200 territorial miles of each coastal country–, and the ship used the Spanish flag. Under a strong storm, with winds of 100 kilometers per hour, the Marbell barely sailed four hours without setbacks.

At Cabo Silleiro there was an explosion in the engine room; drifted, thanks to the crackling of the stones in the Cíes. Over and over, until split in two. The captain sent a distress signal, but it was not received in Vigo because the station was damaged. She was attended by the Navy Command, in addition to a radio amateur. There were only nine survivors.

Also in O Morrazo, but in the middle of the century, the sea claimed the lives of 26 sailors. The bird of the sea, based in the port of Moaña, was returning home after work fishing for sardines, on November 10, 1956. When heading through the natural gate of the Vigo estuary, the ship touches with some basses near the island of San Martiño and sinks. All her crew members died. Many children, orphans, were interned in Panxón or Sada, far from neighbors and roots.

“Mourning over the estuary, yes; and this mourning and this pain that drops its greatest sorrow in the laborious town of Moaña affects all the other towns on both shores”. Moaña had to celebrate the day after the shipwreck, as Cangas would have done had it not been for the azanatheir patron saint festivities, in honour, where appropriate, to San Martiño.

Saint Elizabeth

It was the lighthouse keeper, TOmás Pagá, the one who gave the news in front of Sálvora, in 1921, that the steamer had run aground Saint Elizabeth. Three women – María Fernández (16), Cipriana Oujo (24) and Josefa Parada (32) – headed to the beach. Aboard fragile dornas, and against the judgment of the most veteran sailors, they rowed several miles in a stormy night until they reached the steamer. They alleviated an unprecedented catastrophe: 213 people died and 53 survived. 60 children were traveling on board. The three girls managed to save the lives of up to twenty people.

The Saint Elizabeth, coming from Bilbao –he had made several stops on the Cantabrian coast–, was on his way to Argentina and Uruguay. He bumped into the stones on his way to the the new World. He was called the Galician Titanic. For decades, the ships of the Spanish Transatlantic Company, owner of the steamer, sounded their sirens as a sign of respect and remembrance of the women and men killed in that tragedy every time they passed in front of the Sálvora shoals.

A mystery

On July 19, 1984, the Galician freezer trawler Montrovewith a crew of 16 sailors, mostly from O Morrazo, disappeared when going to fish in the waters of the Banco Canario Sahariano. Since then, it has never been known what happened to the ship and its crew, a mystery that the families of the sailors live with almost four decades later.

Another of the great maritime tragedies in Galicia was the shipwreck of Or Bay, the sinister that has claimed the most deaths for 25 years. This Vigo purse seiner sank on June 2, 2004 while fishing in the vicinity of the Sisargas Islands, costing the lives of ten people. The ship's crew was made up of a dozen sailors and six of them died in the accident while the other four were reported missing.

A blow of the sea just at the moment in which the hoisting of a rig loaded with fish was produced is the hypothesis that has always been considered to explain the sinking of the trawler Nosso Sea in Asturian waters, on the morning of April 17, 2014. That day, five of the twelve crew members of the Portuguese-flagged fishing vessel and Galician ship owner died. The event hit the town of Marín again, where the ship had its base port.

The unintentionally two It sank at noon on December 19, 2018, when it was returning to its base port of Portonovo, to carry out the usual Christmas stranding. It had left the port of A Coruña the previous morning, and was shipwrecked when it was about 4.5 miles south of Finisterre. Ten people were traveling on the boat, and six of them managed to get to safety, but four of them perished: the skipper, Manuel Serén, Bernardino Padín, Teófilo Rodríguez and Guillermo Casas, whose body was never found. The fishing gear carried by the boat had an estimated combined weight of about 20 tons, when the maximum authorized weight in the stability book was 7.5 tons.

Year 2000: 'Arosa' tragedy

At six o'clock in the morning October 3, 2000 the trawler Arosa launched a distress signal from the Irish coast. The crew reported that they were in the middle of a strong storm with force seven winds and waves of more than ten meters and that the ship had a Track of watter.

The vessel was fishing in the Great Sun fishing ground and he was on his way back to the town of Galway precisely due to bad weather conditions when ran aground on some shallows about 20 miles from Slyne Head. On board were thirteen men, ten of them Galicianand only one managed to survive.

That tragedy resulted in 12 deaths.


That tragedy ended with twelve deceased and the bodies of several of them were never found.

As happens on many occasions when tragedies occur at sea, the region of O Morrazo was severely affected.

In addition to the pattern, also passed away Alfredo Estévez García, a natural biker from Bueu; José Ramón García Figueroa, a native cook from Cangas, although he lived in Marín; Eugenio Díaz Carracelas, fisherman from Marín; Julián Soto Fuentes, boatswain of Marín; Luis Miguel Vidal Ribadulla, a sailor from Pontevedra; Francisco Filgueira Fernández, from Marin; Jesús Lafuente Chazo, sailor from Pontecesures; José Antonio Ferreirós Pérez, sailor from Lousame; Sebastián Vaz de Almeida, a natural greaser from São Tomé and Príncipe; Albertino Herculiano Dacosta Craviz, a sailor also from São Tomé and Príncipe; and Sailor Orlando Soares, from Ghana.

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