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One dead, 12 missing as cargo ship sinks off Greek island

One dead, 12 missing as cargo ship sinks off Greek island
Adis Ajdin November 27, 2023

A major rescue operation was launched over the weekend after a cargo ship with 14 crewmembers sank in the rough seas off the coast of Lesbos island in Greece.

The Comoros-flagged ship Raptor sank 4.5 nautical miles southwest of Lesbos early on Sunday.

According to the Greek coastguard, five cargo ships, three coast guard vessels, air force and navy helicopters as well as a navy frigate joined the search operation. One person has died, one has been rescued and 12 people are still missing.

The 1984-built ship first reported a mechanical failure at 07:00 hrs local time, but about an hour-and-a-half later the captain had sent out a Mayday distress call and reported that the ship was listing. Soon later, the ship vanished off the radar.

Raptor, operated by Cedar Marine Services of Lebanon, departed from Egypt carrying a shipment of salt destined for Istanbul, with crew including 11 Egyptians, two Syrians and one Indian.

Over the weekend, ships remained moored in numerous parts of Greece, with wind gusts reaching 9-10 on the Beaufort scale, or strong gale to storm force. The Hellenic National Meteorological Service updated an emergency weather warning from “worsening weather” to “dangerous weather phenomena” on Saturday as Storm Oliver proceeded from the Adriatic Sea toward Greece.