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13 missing after cargo ship sinks off Greek island


Rescuers transfer a rescued sailor to an ambulance on the Aegean Sea island of Lesvos, Greece, Nov. 26, 2023. [Xinhua]

Thirteen crew members aboard a cargo vessel are missing after the ship sank off the Aegean Sea island of Lesvos on Sunday.

One sailor was rescued by a Hellenic Navy helicopter and was taken to a local hospital, Greece's national news agency AMNA reported.

The shipwreck occurred due to mechanical failure while strong winds of 8 on the Beaufort scale (62-74 km per hour) were blowing in the area, the report said.

Early Sunday morning, the captain of the cargo ship reported a mechanical failure to the authorities. At about 8:20 a.m. (0620 GMT), the ship tilted and sent emergency calls to nearby ships before disappearing from radar, reported local media Greek Reporter.

The cargo ship flew the flag of the Comoros Islands and is operated by a Lebanese company. The company said that the 14 crew members are from Egypt, Syria and India. The ship was carrying salt from Egypt to Istanbul, Turkey.

The Greek Coast Guard and the local port authority have dispatched helicopters and rescue ships to carry out the rescue operations.

Wind speed over the waters surrounding Lesvos was expected to rise up to 9 or 10 on the Beaufort scale, an emergency weather warning said on Saturday.

The severe weather, which triggered the 112 emergency service alert in several regions across Greece, was forecast to last until midday on Sunday.

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