25 survivors of Spanish shipwreck reach ports in South America

The 25 survivors of the sinking of a Spanish ship off the Argentine coast reached the mainland Sunday aboard two ships that had picked them up in storm-tossed seas, a Uruguayan navy spokesman said.

25 survivors of Spanish shipwreck reach ports in South America
Photos: Handout pictures released by the Argentine Navy shows Spanish fishing vessel "Dorneda"

Sixteen survivors, and the body of one deceased crew member, arrived in Montevideo on the Spanish-flagged fishing vessel Farruco, the spokesman, Captain Marcelo Etchevers, told AFP. 

The nine other survivors from the sinking of the trawler Dorneda arrived in Puerto Madryn, in Patagonia, aboard the trawler Beagle I.   

Etchevers said the body of the dead man, a Peruvian, was transferred to the morgue. 

Another sailor, also a Peruvian, is still missing.   

READ MORE: One dead, one missing as Spanish fishing boat sinks near Argentina

The Spanish and Peruvian consuls were at the dock in Montevideo to greet the Farruco. Poor weather had delayed its arrival.   

Etchevers said local prosecutors would be taking statements from crew members. 

The Montevideo-based Dorneda had put to sea on July 6 with a crew of 27, most of them Spanish or Peruvian, along with a few Moroccan and Indonesian sailors.

The Dorneda sank while in rough waters some 300 nautical miles (345 miles) from the Argentine city of Comodoro Rivadavia, in Patagonia.   

Most crew members were able to escape on life rafts or a life boat.   

The Argentine Navy said Wednesday that the sinking, sometime late Tuesday or early Wednesday, might have been caused by water entering the craft at its stern ramp, where fishing nets are hoisted up.

Water entering the engine room could have cut power, making the ship uncontrollable in a storm and forcing the crew to abandon ship.