12 Crew Members Missing, One Dead After Cargo Ship Sinks Off Greek Island in Stormy Seas

The Associated Press
By The Associated Press
November 26, 2023Europe
12 Crew Members Missing, One Dead After Cargo Ship Sinks Off Greek Island in Stormy Seas
Paramedics carry the body of a crew member of a ship, on the northeastern Aegean Sea island of Lesbos, Greece, on Nov. 26, 2023. (Panagiotis Balaskas/AP Photo)

ATHENS, Greece—A cargo ship sank off the Greek island of Lesbos in stormy seas early Sunday, leaving one crew member dead, 12 missing and one rescued, authorities said.

The Raptor, registered in Comoros, was on its way to Istanbul from Alexandria, Egypt, carrying 6,000 tons of salt, the coast guard said. It had a crew of 14, including eight Egyptians, four Indians and two Syrians, the coast guard said.

The ship reported a mechanical problem at 7 a.m. Sunday, sent a distress signal at 8:20 a.m. and shortly after disappeared about 4.5 nautical miles (8 kilometers) southwest of Lesbos, authorities said.

A dead crew member was retrieved Sunday afternoon and was transported to Lesbos. The body arrived on the island but has not been identified yet, a coast guard spokeswoman told The Associated Press.

One Egyptian was rescued, another coast guard spokeswoman told AP earlier Sunday.

She said eight merchant ships, two helicopters, and one Greek navy frigate were searching for survivors. Three coast guard vessels had difficulty reaching the area because of rough seas, she added. Both spokeswomen spoke on condition of anonymity because the case was ongoing and she wasn’t authorized to speak to the media.

Private TV channel Mega reported that the rescued crew member, an engineer, told coast guard officers that the ship had started taking water Saturday.

Northwesterly winds in excess of 80 kph (50 mph) per hour were blowing in the area, the national weather service said.

By Demetris Nellas

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