21st Apr 2023 @ 8:30 am

The remains of five fishermen from Cadiz who drowned off the coast of Lanzarote fifty years ago have been located in an Arrecife cemetery.

In the early hours of 6th February 1973, the fishing boat Domenech de Varo sank off the coast of Mala while trying to put ashore following an engine breakdown. Ten of the 12 crew members drowned.

Three bodies that washed up the following day were identified by the survivors, who then returned home, but the Cadiz authorities never informed family members that a further five bodies had been found later, instead classifying them as “missing at sea”. 

To mark the 50th anniversary of the tragedy, José Manuel Pose, who was 18 when his father died, contacted Lanzarote authorities and spent 11 days combing  local archives. He finally discovered that the remains of all eight bodies were in an unmarked tomb in Arrecife cemetery.

Around €14,000 is required to return the remains to their families and analyse them to find out who is who (two bodies were never recovered). A campaign has been set up to raise the funds, and Carmen Álvarez, a communist deputy in the Andalusian parliament has filed a motion urging officials to pay the amount. “Their husbands died, they had no tomb to place flowers on and they have spent 50 years thinking their bodies were at the bottom of the sea,” Álvarez said. “The authorities have a moral duty to the families.”   

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