The search for 12 missing crew members of a Spanish fishing boat that sank off the Atlantic coast of Canada was called off on Wednesday, rescuers said.
"Regrettably, at 4 pm AST [2000 GMT], based on the results of the exhaustive search by a significant number of SAR aircraft and vessels over the last 36+ hours, a search covering over 900 sq NM, the search for the 12 missing fishers aboard the FV Villa de Pitanxo has been suspended," said the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Halifax in a tweet.
Just three crew members of the Villa de Pitanxo were rescued alive from a life raft after the Spanish fishing vessel sank on Monday night off the coast of Newfoundland.
The bodies of nine crew members were recovered from the icy waters off the Atlantic coast of Canada. It had previously been reported that 10 bodies had been recovered.
Given the extremely cold water and stormy seas in the area rescuers had been pessimistic about finding more survivors earlier on Wednesday.
According to Canadian authorities, 24 people were on board the Villa de Pitanxo, a vessel from Galicia in north-western Spain, at the time of the accident.
The reasons for the boat sinking remain unclear, though Spanish newspaper La Voz de Galicia cited experts as saying the cargo may have slipped in heavy seas and caused the ship to sink.