OVIEDO, Spain 

Many are feared dead after a Spanish fishing boat sank in frigid Canadian waters early Tuesday.

Three of the 24 crew members were rescued with hypothermia in the waters off Newfoundland, according to Maica Larriba, a government official from the Galician province where the ship was based.

The search is still ongoing for the other fishermen, though “some corpses” have been recovered.

“There were four lifeboats, and rescuers were able to find three of them. Two were totally empty, but the other had three survivors. They continue to search for the fourth lifeboat,” Larriba told reporters.

Eighteen crew members were from Spain, while the others were from Peru and Ghana, according to the El Faro de Galicia newspaper.

The ship sent out distress signals at 5.30 a.m. Spain time from around 450 kilometers (280 miles) off the coast of Newfoundland.

The Villa de Pitanxo boat was based in Marin on Spain’s rugged Atlantic coast.

“This is a very tough day for Marin as we face one of the worst tragedies in memory. We still don’t have all the data or the number of dead, but this affects the entire area,” said Marin Mayor Maria Ramallo.

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