Death toll up to three after ship sinks off Turkey

By: AFP      Published: 08:56 PM, 18 Jan, 2021
Death toll up to three after ship sinks off Turkey

Three crew members died and three others are missing after a cargo ship sank in bad weather in the Black Sea off Turkey, local officials said Monday.

Turkish rescue workers saved six crew members on board the Palau-flagged bulk carrier Arvin despite difficult weather conditions after disaster struck Sunday.

The governor of Bartin province in northern Turkey, Sinan Guner, said Monday the rescue workers were trying to find three missing seamen and retrieve the bodies of three others, including one stranded on rocks.

But because of strong winds and poor visibility, helicopters were grounded and the coastguard was stuck at the port.

"It's impossible for the teams to take to the sea... We continue rescue operations from the ground," Guner said, adding divers were searching rocky areas near the shore.

Officials said Arvin, which belongs to a Ukrainian company, had 12 crew members. The vessel was heading to Bulgaria from Georgia when it sank.

This area of the Black Sea is often dangerous for ships.

In January 2019, six crew died when a Panama-flagged cargo ship sank in the Black Sea off Turkey.

And in April 2017, a Russian spy vessel sank in the Black Sea after colliding with a cargo ship carrying cattle. All crew were rescued.