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Nine Syrian seafarers feared dead after Ukraine-bound cargo ship sinks

Nine seafarers feared dead after Ukraine-bound cargo ship sinks
Gary Dixon 10 April 2023

Turkish coast guard launched rescue operation after Joe 2 got into difficulty off Kumluca

Three crew members have died and another six were reported missing after a general cargo ship was lost off Turkey.

The 3,100-dwt Joe 2 (built 1993) sank 35km off Kumluca on the Mediterranean coast on 5 April, Turkish officials said.

The former Ali Bey, which was reflagged to Guinea-Bissau in March, had 14 seafarers on board.

Five crew members were rescued, three of whom sustained unspecified injuries, and three bodies were recovered.

A search was launched for the remaining six seafarers.

The vessel was heading to Izmail in Ukraine from the Turkish port of Iskenderun, according to Antalya governor Ersin Yazici.

The cargo ship was carrying a cargo of aluminium, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

The cause of the sinking was not immediately clear.

An investigation has been launched by the chief prosecutor’s office for Kumluca.

The Turkish Coast Guard Command said it received a distress call at 0347 hours and sent a corvette, seven boats, two helicopters and a plane to the scene.
Picked up by choppers

Two crew members were rescued by the coast guard helicopters and taken to the Finike State Hospital, while three others were picked up by other ships in the area.

All of the crew were Syrian nationals.

The rescue efforts were hampered by a storm, Anadolu reported.

The Coast Guard said all the crew members on board were Syrian nationals.

The vessel is listed as operated by Team Chartering & Shipping of Turkey.

The Joe 2 was inspected in March in Tripoli, Lebanon, and was not detained.

Inspectors found five deficiencies, including missing emergency towing arrangements, an unreadable magnetic compass and improperly maintained ventilator air pipe casings.

The ship was previously detained in 2020 in Bulgaria.