The last of the emergency crews and salvage craft withdrew from the site of where the Almeria registered fishing trawler caught fire, and eventually sank, just two kilometres off the Majorcan coast at Capdepera on Tuesday, early yesterday morning. According to the CRCS regional sea rescue department, the fire, which claimed the life of one of the fishermen on board who leapt into the sea with the rest of the crew for safety but could not swim, took most of the afternoon to battle and firemen were still fighting the blaze into the evening until the vessel was finally lost beneath the waves. Rescue experts described the blaze, which started at mid-day, as “fierce” which is one of the reasons why it kept fire crews in action for over six hours. The trawler Antonio Cid II was built of fibre glass, a highly combustible material which is very difficult to bring under control once alight and salvage teams were worried about moving the burning vessel in case she split into two. A special Guardia Civil fire fighting vessel Deva was brought in to help fight the flames after attempts by the forest fire fighter planes and helicopters failed to calm the blaze. At midnight, a salvage vessel Remolcanosa Ochenta reached the scene and remained on site until early yesterday morning in order to clean up after the vessel sank and to warn other maritime traffic of the danger. Her crew were also monitoring any signs of an oil or fuel spill. Despite the efforts of the salvage crews to save the trawler, she finally split in two and sank nearly five miles northeast of the Capdepera lighthouse. The body of a 30-year-old crew member who died was transfered to Algeciras while the remaining nine members of the crew who were plucked to safety by two local boats, returned home to their worried families in Almeria yesterday afternoon.

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