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The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Two dead as cargo ship sinks off Turkey

The bulk carrier Arvin was headed to Bulgaria from Georgia when it sank [AFP]

Date of publication: 17 January, 2021

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Harsh weather is said to be hampering rescue efforts to find six other seamen from the Palau-flagged vessel still unaccounted for. Five have so far been rescued.

At least two crew members have died after a cargo ship sank in bad weather in the Black Sea off Turkey on Sunday, local officials said.

Five seamen from among the 13 on board the bulk carrier Arvin have been rescued and an operation is continuing to find the others, the governor of northern Turkey's Bartin province, Sinan Guner, said.

He said the vessel was registered in the tiny Pacific nation of Palau, after first incorrectly reporting that it was a Russian-flagged ship.

It was headed for Bulgaria from Georgia when it sank due to bad weather.

"The crew numbered 13. As of now, five people have been rescued and two bodies recovered," Guner said, quoted by the Anadolu news agency.

Powerful gusts of wind and snow flurries were reported Sunday in the area where the ship sank, conditions which could limit vessels' visibility and manoeuvrability.

Guner said the weather conditions were also hampering rescue efforts.

The Turkish defence ministry said a frigate has been mobilised to help with the rescue operation.

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

Two years earlier, a Russian spy vessel sank in the Black Sea after colliding with a cargo ship carrying cattle. All crew were rescued.

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