Updated: Three lost sailors presumed dead, search called off

UPDATED 2nd February: The Icelandic sailor rescued late in January off Norway survived because of his floatation suit. His three crew mates from the sunken trawler were not so lucky and the Norwegian coastguard has called off its search. An interview has now been released.

The trawler was called Hallgrímur SI-77 and was en-route for scrapping in Norway when it sank in severe weather. The rescued sailor is in good physical health, but says he had to watch helplessly as two of his friends disappeared into the sea.

Watch and extended emotional interview with the survivor, Eiríkur Ingi Jóhannesson, with English subtitles, here.

The search for the missing three men was called off in bad weather and the three lost men, all in their fifties, are presumed dead.

The rescued man, in his thirties, probably survived because of his floatation suit, Vísir.is reports. One of his crew mates also put on a floatation suit; but that suit leaked and the four men slowly drifted apart.

Jan Lillebø, who was in charge of the rescue operation, told NTB that the search was called off due to the weather. There were hurricane force winds at the location and 15 metre high waves.

Two of the lost three men, who have been named as Gísli Garðarsson, Einar G. Gunnarsson and Magnús Þórarin Daníelsson, come from the Suðurnes region of southwest Iceland.

(Photo: Jón Sigurður Eyjólfsson // from Vísir.is)

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