“Every day we wake up thinking that today is the day and that we will find it to give it the burial it deserves, from there we get the strength,” Marina García, cousin and spokesperson for the family of Francis, the fisherman from Tajao that fell into the sea on June 20 off the coast of Granadilla de Abona, dragged by a net that got caught in one leg when he was working on board the boat Punta Abona.
Two and a half months later, his family does not lose hope of finding his body, although he recognizes that the anguish lasts too long and the physical and psychological fatigue are beginning to take their toll. “There are days when we fall a little down because this is taking too long, but we will continue looking as long as we have resources,” says the spokeswoman, who acknowledges that the most difficult task is to keep the family encouraged. “His mother looks at us looking for an answer and we can’t give it to her,” he says.
Since that fateful June 20, the response from family members, neighbors, fishermen and volunteers has been exemplary. “The first days you would meet people on the street who came to you crying, because they knew Francis, and they asked how they could help,” explains Marina.
Every day, hikes are organized on foot along the coast between the Granadilla dock and Los Abrigos, meetings are called to design search strategies, the logistics that divers need for dives are provided and calls are made to incorporate new human and material resources. . A deployment supported by donor contributions in an account opened at La Caixa, which has allowed the hiring of an underwater robot.
“In the last 30 years there has not been a private search at sea like this,” says Marina, who confirmed the contribution of aid from the Cabildo, “which we are already using,” but regretted the silence of other administrations. “At first we were lost and we went to the Government Subdelegation and still today we are still waiting for an answer.”
The family defines Francis, 47, as a “caring” and “generous” person. “He had no malice, if he had a euro it was as much yours as his.” Marina, who especially appreciated the work of the divers and the work of Moisés Pires, the search coordinator, cannot explain how Francis’s body has not yet emerged. “It seems incredible to us that it has not emerged after so long, because if it had, someone would have seen it this summer with so many boats, boats and jet skis.” A circumstance that leads the family and the search teams to think that the fisherman’s body remains in the place where it fell, one kilometer from the coast between the industrial port and the Montaña Pelada area and almost 100 meters deep. “We have in our head that it can continue to be hooked and that it can be released at any moment,” he says.
Moisés Pires, who has participated in operations such as the Prestige, in Galicia, or Costa Concordia, in Italy, explained to this newspaper that the tasks have entered the “deep phase”, which has led to dividing the tracking zone into two areas, one “interior”, which extends from the tip of the Granadilla pier to Montaña Roja, and another “exterior”, for which it is necessary to use underwater robots and side scan sonars, which allow mapping the seabed .