Lobster fishing boat is overturned by high winds with a loss of 3 lives.

On the night of the 22nd October 2013, a lobster fishing boat the Compescal V overturned in high winds, roughly 14km (7 NM) from the coast, three of the six men crew lost their lives.  The Compescal V was returning to port (Fortim, a little further down the coast from Prainha) after completing almost a month at sea, they had been lobster fishing at a distance of approximately 70km (38 nautical miles) from the coast. The 2 year old boat of a type typically used in lobster fishing in this region, was fully equipped with communication and navigational aids.

The crews had changed over shifts with Rogaciano Costas taking over command. According to Rogaciano, he had just made contact by radio to inform his wife of their return, when the boat was hit by a sudden violent wind and a huge wave, he reported that it all happened quickly and in less than two minutes they were all in the water, he shouted out the names of the crew but only two responded. The three men spent the night clinging to buoys from the upturned boat, they believe the other crew members were trapped inside when the boat went over.

The three men were rescued at dawn on the 23rd by a jangadeiro, who had set sail from Fortim before first light on a fishing trip. Other local boats went out to search for the missing men but a serious lack of resources in the region hampered a more thorough search effort. The Navy base in Aracati responsible for this area does not have a boat, relying instead on commandeered fishing vessels to carry out search and rescue, it takes time for them to find a boat, the crew and the fuel needed to put to sea.

Word had already spread to Prainha that their had been an accident but details were scarce. When the upturned boat was carried past the beach here, Jangadas set sail in the hope of finding survivors but hopes were already fading.

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The Compescal V. Photo Franck Lima

On the 24th (Thurs) the boat (minus it’s cabin) washed up a little higher up the coast, the missing crew were not found and the search for them continued, though by now there was very little hope of finding them alive. Later that day the body of one of the crew was found tangled in fishing gear near Fortim.

On Friday 25th, Neu’s cousin set out to sea and spotted the body of one of the other crew members, he returned to raise the alarm and the body was collected and returned to shore, where members of the missing mens families were waiting. The body of the third man was found later that day.
Francisco Ivan Barros do Nascimento, 45.
Julio da Silva Freitas, 26.
José Milton Moreira da Silva, 61.
Our thoughts are with their families.

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