THE search for a missing sailor continues off Almeria’s coast as hopes of finding him alive diminish.
Mohamed, a 54-year-old experienced fisherman went missing after his ‘Baca’ style fishing boat capsized late Wednesday evening 14km southwest of Alboran Island.
A rescue beacon was launched at 8.27pm on the night of July 7 to Salvamento Maritimo of a fishing boat in distress.
Directed by the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre in Almeria, rescue teams were soon dispatched to the scene of the sinking.
Moroccan national, Mohamed was one of four fishermen that were operating in the popular spot in a 15 foot vessel named Nuevo Rafael.
The rest of the crew were found at 9.55pm Wednesday night clinging onto an inflatable plastic storage container by a Salvamento Marítimo operated Helimer 220 search and rescue helicopter.
They were transferred to the mainland with slight signs of hypothermia but otherwise in good health.
The search for captain Mohamed’s boat has been ongoing since however with no results.
Navy vessels and the Guardia Civil Maritime division have joined the search along with further air patrols.
His family are understandably distraught, and are hoping for answers as to whether their beloved husband and father is alive or dead.
“Our home is full of pain and uncertainty,” explained Fatima, Mohamed’s wife of more than 40 years.
“We do not understand how the rest of the crew has been rescued but not him.”
At home, six children between the ages of 12 and 24 are also desperately waiting for news on their father’s condition.
It was announced this morning that the search and rescue team were scaling back efforts to recover the body of Mohamed.
A sign that hopes are slowly disappearing, but Mohamed’s family remain cautiously optimistic.
“Until we have discovered a body there is always hope, there has to be.”
The Fishermen’s Association of Caleta de Los Velez in Velez-Malaga is hoping that the search remains active until a body is discovered.
“We are having a very bad time and as the hours pass the despair is greater,” explained Carmen Navas, spokesman for the Association.
“He was a very experienced fisherman with over 30 years on the water. He was well loved by everyone in the community.”
According to experts at the Salvamento Maritimo, it is understood that the sailors were resting at the time of the incident in their bunks when a sea surge hit the boat, causing it to capsize.
The area, 54km southeast of Motril, is known for its strong and unpredictable currents.